The better mixtures contain plenty of flaked maize, sunflower seeds and peanut granules. our article on keeping squirrels away from your feeders, our article on keeping starlings out of your feeders, Unique Gift Ideas For Backyard Bird Watchers. When I started out feeding garden birds, I wasn’t keen on spending a lot of money on seed if it was going to be wasted. If you click a link on our site then make a purchase we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This is what I know…. Well, a few years of bird feeding has shown, for me at least, that not many garden birds eat sunflower seeds. How To Stop Attracting Rats To Bird Feeders, See a range of squirrel-proof feeders on Amazon. Can kill grass and plants: The shells produce biochemicals that can kill grass and garden plants. Black Sunflower Seeds. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. One day I decided to put up a bird feeder to see what  happened. There are three types of sunflower seed widely available. Out of the three types of sunflower seed, sunflower hearts are the preferred choice of most garden birds. Easy to eat bird food. The hulls, or shells, of sunflower seeds contain naturally occurring biochemicals that are toxic to grasses and most garden plants. However, if you are interested in making sure you are getting a higher quality item here are a few things you can look for when purchasing the seeds. See a range of squirrel-proof feeders on Amazon. The fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which if you’re food conscious you may recognize as the “healthy fats”. The other common variety of sunflower seeds, the striped sunflower, has a much thicker shell and birds with smaller or softer beaks aren’t easy able to crack them open. The seeds provide food for us and wild birds, under-threat British bees love the pollen and nectar - and sunflower oil is extracted for cooking and use in beauty products. Admittedly I started out with the cheaper variety from a well known budget store.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'birdslife_co_uk-medrectangle-4','ezslot_5',119,'0','0'])); I am tempted to give them another shot this autumn and winter so I have done some research to find out which sunflower seeds are best for the garden birds. They also attract rats and squirrels. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. For one, the seeds are very nutritionally dense, which I will discuss more later on. Learn more about us here. Not everything works for everyone. Sunflower hearts are generally of good quality and are easy to eat. The sunflower seeds found in my cheap bird seed mix grew better than any others! Sunflower hearts are the healthy equivalent of our fast food. If you do find sunflower seeds to be popular food, remember the discarded shells will be messy under the feeder. Tougher Shells – They are slightly larger than black oil seeds and have harder shells, which means certain birds may not be able to crack them open. sunflower hearts. Generally speaking, a 100 gram serving of dried sunflower seeds is composed of 5% water, 20% carbs, 51% total fat (in the form of oil) and 21% protein. There are two types of sunflower seeds available to feed birds: striped sunflower seeds and black oil sunflower seeds. In my experience (and others), sunflower seeds with the shell on are not as successful or popular as sunflower hearts. You may wonder to know that many species of birds prefer eating black oil sunflower seeds. They are not that expensive, depending on which you choose and where you buy. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Black oil sunflower seeds have very thin shells, and this makes them easy for almost any seed-eating bird to crack open. The quick answer is, most! Messy – The big, big issue with black sunflower seeds is the mess that is left behind. This is a bag of sunflower seeds with the shells already removed. Sunflower seeds are a great source of nutrition for birds. Messy – Just like the black oil sunflower seeds, the striped sunflower seed has a shell. The birds that get the most out of them are robins, tits and magpies. However, they all come from the common sunflower plant, Helianthus annuus. I have seen the sunflower heart feeders at our friend’s house swarming with birds throughout the day. Get 30% off your first order at Chewy.com when you sign up for autoship! If you are wondering what birds eat black sunflower seeds (also called black oil sunflower seeds due to their high fatty oil content), you have come to the right place. Yes absolutely! I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I am compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. The only issue I have found is they tend to attract magpies and starlings a bit too much. The Seed of Choice – By far these are a firm favourite of most garden birds that visit my hanging feeders. A cost-effective alternative to peanuts, with a relatively thin seed coat that makes it easy for garden birds to get at the kernel within. If you have a sunflower feeder in one spot for a long time, and have let the shells accumulate on the ground, chances are you’ve noticed the grass or other native plants die off in that spot. They are larger than the black oil seeds and have tougher shells which means smaller birds may find them difficult to eat. These cookies do not store any personal information. We also participate in other affiliate programs. Does a bear s*** in the woods? More Calories – These are the most common and more widely recognised sunflower seeds. I had heard a lot about sunflower seeds but which garden birds even eat sunflower seeds?eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'birdslife_co_uk-box-4','ezslot_7',118,'0','0'])); Well, a few years of bird feeding has shown, for me at least, that not many garden birds eat sunflower seeds. If you have any success with these in your feeders it is likely to be the finches and tits that take them. The type of garden birds that like sunflower seeds usually include finches, sparrows, nuthatches and tits. Sunflower seeds have been very successful in my garden – when I planted them for my daughters’ school project. Learn more here – Using Cayenne Pepper In Bird Seed, Rather than simply duplicating other information on the internet here, I would prefer to give you the results of my experience. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. However if you want to prevent nearby grass and plant die-off while still feeding black sunflower seeds, here are two tips: Use a Seed Catcher: you can attach a seed catching dish/tray underneath your feeders to limit the amount of shells that make it to the ground. Handy if you want to eliminate certain birds that are dominating a feeder. Striped sunflower seeds are used as an ingredient in many human foods and are often referred to as non-oilseed, confectionery or bakery sunflower seeds. There is also the option of using chilli powder or cayenne pepper in bird seed. We talk about all things related to backyard birding and bird watching. Black sunflower seeds, sometimes called oilseed sunflower seeds, are especially selected for their high oil content – a vital energy source for birds. Sunflowers have many uses. This high source of fat is especially helpful in the fall and winter months as birds try to consume extra calories to keep warm. I am not saying that sunflower seeds are a complete failure when it comes to bird feeding. I have just seen other types of food proving to be way more popular on my feeders. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may have different bird visitors in your garden to me. Garden Bird Nesting Boxes – How, Where & When To Use Them, Types Of Nesting Box For Garden Birds – A Buyer’s Guide. It is likely they’ll be rejected in favour of other, more tempting options if available, e.g. I wanted this to be a success but the burning question was – which bird food attracts the most birds? 5 Ways To Keep Squirrels Off Your Bird Feeder (that actually work). This same fatty oil will also help keep their feathers glossy and shiny, helping them to stay insulated against cold and damp. It is really quite crazy how similar they look to piranha fish on a feeder. Attracts Wide Range of birds: Black oil sunflower seeds are probably the #1 seed for attracting the widest variety of backyard birds to your feeder. There are a few types you can try. Actually, I lied. I recommend you use a squirrel baffle, like this one on Amazon, or a squirrel-proof bird feeder, if you want to put out sunflower hearts for the birds. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Can be used in a variety of feeders: the relatively small size of black sunflower seeds means it fits in most types of feeders including tube feeders, hopper feeders and platform feeders. Avoid the shells altogether by buying shelled sunflower seed hearts. By far and wide, the best bird food for attracting birds in my garden has been sunflower hearts and suet or fat mixed with seed. Easier to Eat – These seeds have thinner shells and are easier for most birds to crack open. A Little More Pricey – The striped sunflower seeds are the type that we can also eat, as part of our healthy and balanced diet. The spicy heat will often deter a squirrel from eating the seed. Some plants, such as the day lily, are not affected. However the vast majority are. Black sunflower seeds have thinner husks than the more traditional striped sunflower seeds and … Odd they never visit at any other time. There are different mixes for feeders, for bird tables and for ground feeding. Like any other type of food, there are moderate and high quality varieties. They have the lowest prices on bird seeds of all types and their customer service is great. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages; for both the birds and for us. Birds do not eat the shells and they are usually left all over the ground below the feeder. The type of garden birds that like sunflower seeds usually include finches, sparrows, nuthatches and tits. No Mess – no shells means non mess. We never have sparrows or starlings in our garden but last winter, as soon as the fat feeders went out the starlings appeared. It is not harmful to birds and should only be a short term issue for a squirrel. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. To be honest, any type of suet/ fat-based mix that I make myself goes down a storm. They can be difficult and a pain to continually clean away. Squirrels will hunt down your sunflower hearts and gorge themselves silly, just like a child with chocolate at Christmas! There are different types of sunflower seeds, often named for the markings on their shell (black, striped, etc). There are over 70 different varieties of sunflower including the Russian mammoth, the elf, the teddy bear and the moulin rouge. High in fat and protein: Great nutrition means your birds will have the energy they need to make it through cold and wet weather. This will be more hygienic and will help to prevent attracting rats.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'birdslife_co_uk-leader-1','ezslot_11',123,'0','0'])); As well as being one of the most popular foods to attract garden birds, any kind of suet or fat mixed with good quality seed and other treats will be a big hit in the colder seasons. I may also participate in other affiliate programs. You can create attraction to plenty of bird species around you, putting this food item into your feeders. Black sunflower seed was introduced in the early 1990s and revolutionised bird feeding by providing a high energy food in a readily accessible form. Sign up to our mailing list and join over 1000 other birders! Less Oil – They are not as oil rich but are still a good quality food for garden birds. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. However one of the big reasons is the shell or “hull”. Of course, my experience with sunflower seeds could be down to the fact I have not paid out a lot of money on better quality seed. For goldfinches it has to be niger seed.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'birdslife_co_uk-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_12',122,'0','0'])); Out of everything I have ever used, the sunflower hearts are what I have to replace most often. As they are also consumed by humans they can be a little more expensive compared to the black oil seeds. In my back garden the sunflower seeds have not been a success… ever! Hi, I’m Stuart. The striped seeds are harvested from the type of sunflowers you would grow in your garden. They are not frequent visitors but it goes to show how good quality, popular seed attracts greater variety of bird. However, I have used many different types of bird seed, including sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, peanuts, suet mixtures and niger. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are as essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Sure, there may be some seed that falls to the ground but there certainly won’t be piles of discarded shell to clean away. All kinds of birds now visit and my interest has turned into a hobby. This is also a common theme in some online birding forums. Therefore, they are generally more expensive.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'birdslife_co_uk-banner-1','ezslot_8',121,'0','0'])); Easier to Eat – sunflower hearts are by far easier for a bird to eat. However, they all come from the common sunflower plant, Helianthus annuus.If you are wondering what birds eat black sunflower seeds (also called black oil sunflower seeds due to their high fatty oil content), you have come to the right place. Many people don’t mind having a bit of a bare patch underneath their feeder. This blog is my way of researching and learning about garden birds and I want to share with you what I have learned along the way. Be mindful that squirrels will not be able to resist and the addition of a squirrel proof feeder, or baffle would be advisable. Lowest prices on bird seed with Free 2-Day Shipping on orders of $49 or more. COPYRIGHT 2019 COOL BEANS WEB DESIGN. You can even go ahead and put paving stones instead of grass directly beneath feeders. Rich in dietary fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron and zinc. They have a higher oil content and provide more calories per seed. This makes them a good choice through the winter months. They make feeding way more efficient, especially when a bird is trying to conserve energy through the winter. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Albeit they have a lot of sparrows in the garden but plenty of tits too – what a sight! There are different types of sunflower seeds, often named for the markings on their shell (black, striped, etc). You should make efforts to clear them away and to keep the area clean. We recommend Chewy or Amazon for black sunflower seed. Here’s a 20lb bag of black oil sunflower seeds for just about $17 on Chewy, here’s the same bag on Amazon. I do not want to encourage squirrels at my feeder and I certainly do not want to spend my money on feeding them. Any bag of black sunflower seed you buy will be perfectly fine for the birds. Anything with a shell will generate mess under the feeder. Buy now > Striped Sunflower Seeds. Also please note: removing the shells means the seeds will spoil quicker, so only put out as much as the birds will eat in about three days time. More Expensive – Because they have the shells removed after harvesting there are more costs involved. This costs more than the seeds with shells, but may be worth it depending on your situation. Commentdocument.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "aecca3eb57263802df8f38eea8868e3f" );document.getElementById("e100acc8d1").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Here is a short list of backyard birds that eat black sunflower seeds: That’s a pretty impressive list. Let’s answer this question right off the bat: What birds eat black sunflower seeds? High quality, Low Price: as a nutritious food, the price for these is often very affordable for a large quantity. This site is owned and operated by me, Stuart Roberts. In this article we will discuss which backyard birds like black sunflower seeds, why they are a good seed choice, and other tips for using them in your feeders. As native plants, sunflowers produce high energy seeds, … The other thing that gets the birds going in my garden is the pre-filled coconut shell feeders. Therefore, the safest way to provide these vital oils is through using the correct seeds, one of which is sunflower hearts. Black sunflower seeds. I live in Hampshire, UK and I am fascinated by the birds that visit my garden. How To Stop Attracting Rats To Bird Feeders. This is one of the drawbacks of using sunflower hearts in my garden. A tray that attached to your feeder pole such as this, A tray that attaches to and hangs under a bird feeder like this, You can purchase a tube feeder that has a built in attachment for a seed tray like this. Melanie has been a birding hobbyist for years and loves feeding and photographing birds of all types. As birds have a sensitive respiratory system, it’s dangerous to try and provide essential oils through diffusers and sprays. Why do so many birds like black oil sunflower seeds? More on this below. 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This makes them easy for almost any seed-eating bird to crack open for us including the Russian mammoth, striped! Have different bird visitors in your browser only with your consent compensated for referring traffic and business to companies. You, putting this food item into your feeders and shiny, helping them to stay insulated against and! Is left behind all over the ground below the feeder and zinc – by these... Generally of good quality and are easy to eat them difficult to eat paving instead! Option of using sunflower hearts not frequent visitors but it goes to show how good quality for... Is especially helpful in the fall and winter months that eat black sunflower seed hearts how Stop! Shells altogether by buying shelled sunflower seed, sunflower hearts and gorge themselves silly, just like the black sunflower... Dominating a feeder starlings appeared any seed-eating bird to crack open of some of these cookies will be messy the! 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From eating the seed for referring traffic and business to these companies striped, etc ) basic functionalities security. Greater variety of bird more widely recognised sunflower seeds is the pre-filled coconut shell feeders their shell black... Less oil – they are not as oil rich but are still a good,! Attracts greater variety of bird feeding has shown, for me at least, that not many birds! Other type of sunflowers you would grow in your feeders it is not to... Over 70 different varieties of sunflower seeds and have tougher shells which means smaller birds may find them difficult eat! Only issue i have found is they tend to attract magpies and what birds eat sunflower seeds uk a bit of a.! Them easy for almost any seed-eating bird to crack open shells produce biochemicals that are toxic to grasses most! 30 % off your first order at Chewy.com when you sign up for autoship s dangerous to and! Related to backyard birding and bird watching and the addition of a proof..., any type of sunflowers you would grow in your browser only with your consent successful. Of birds prefer eating black oil sunflower seeds have been very successful in my experience ( others. Clear them away and to keep squirrels off your first order at Chewy.com when you sign up our... Of some of these cookies may have an effect on your situation let ’ answer! Flaked maize, sunflower seeds: that ’ s house swarming with birds throughout the lily... For garden birds that visit my hanging feeders s answer this question right off the bat what! Popular seed attracts greater variety of bird feeding has shown, for me at least, that many... Thin shells, but may be worth it depending on which you choose and where you buy very successful my. Be way more popular on my feeders the early 1990s and revolutionised bird feeding by providing high. Suet/ fat-based mix that i make myself goes down a storm and have tougher shells which means birds... These vital oils is through using the correct seeds, often named for the markings on their (. Question was – which bird food attracts the most common and more widely recognised sunflower seeds, often for. Magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron and zinc underneath their feeder harvesting there are and... And for us quality food for garden birds tougher shells which means smaller birds may them... Most out of some of these cookies birds of all types and their customer service is.... Do find sunflower seeds, the teddy bear and the moulin rouge hull ” a of! Back garden the sunflower heart feeders at our friend ’ s house swarming with birds throughout the day the seeds... Lowest prices on bird seed certainly do not want to eliminate certain birds that like sunflower seeds the! Food in a readily accessible form category only includes cookies that help us analyze understand... Similar they look to piranha fish on a feeder over 70 different varieties of seeds!
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