Sunflower seeds are the optimal single seed to attract a wide range of wild birds to your feeders. Store it in rodent-proof containers, and refill feeders no more often than every two weeks to keep freshness at a maximum.
Be mindful that plant proteins aren’t “complete”, and will require other foods in order to provide your birds with all of the essential amino acids they require for healthy feathers and bodies.
Hulled sunflower seeds are one of the most popular ways to serve sunflower seeds, as they attract many different types of wild birds – particularly Northern Cardinals, jays and woodpeckers. Hulled seeds can either be fed directly as standalone feeders or included as part of no waste mixes with shelled seeds and nuts.
Hulled seeds keep your feeding area much cleaner than unhulled seed, as they reduce the chances that spilled seeds will sprout unsightly weeds or inhibit garden plants and grass from growing properly. While they tend to cost more per pound than their whole counterparts, this cost difference can often be offset by not paying for the weight of their inedible shells.
Sunflower kernels are an excellent source of Vitamin E, an anti-oxidant and protein. Furthermore, these crunchy little seeds boast plenty of essential fatty acids for added energy boost. Try mixing raw hulled sunflower seeds into morning muesli or salads for an irresistibly crunchy crunch!
Think about how kids in a candy shop feel and you get some idea of the delight wild birds must experience when presented with sunflower seeds; it’s easy to understand their enthusiasm over consuming these non-essential calories!
Sunflower seeds come from Helianthus annuus plants native to North America that were first domesticated for seed production. As these seeds are easily accessible and attract many bird species, sunflower seed feeders have long been a favorite choice in backyard environments.
Striped sunflower seeds are highly appealing to birds with stout beaks such as finches. Large birds such as cardinals, blue jays, and nuthatches also find them appealing. Ideally these seeds should be offered in a feeder designed to hold them, such as a hopper or wide-mouthed tube; check regularly for spoiled seeds which could make birds sick; this is especially important during the colder winter months when these fats and proteins help regulate body temperatures by helping regulate temperature control mechanisms within their bodies.
No waste mixes
Sunflower seeds are popular with birders as they’re easy for all sorts of seed-eating birds to crack open, providing essential fat sources during winter migrations. Unfortunately, too much sunflower seed could lead to obesity and health issues for birds that consume it regularly.
Black oil sunflower seeds (commonly referred to as hulled sunflower seeds) are an ideal choice for drawing in all the species that frequent bird feeders. Their soft shell makes it easier for birds with thin beaks to separate the seed from its husk, creating less mess around feeders.
Striped sunflower seeds are also very popular with birds. Their harder shell requires greater force for birds to crack open, making them perfect for larger species like cardinals and woodpeckers. Striped seeds are often included as fillers in cheaper wild bird seed blends sold at hardware stores, big box stores or garden centres.
Many bird feed stores sell large bags of seed for bird-feeding enthusiasts to store in their garage or utility room, which helps prevent it from getting too wet or becoming contaminated with rodents.
Garages tend to be cool and dark spaces that provide ideal conditions for bird food storage. Unfortunately, storing it too long could make the seed less appealing to birds that you want to attract.
To minimize risk, only take out as much seed as you will use within two weeks, using a seed scoop for measuring out. Doing this ensures you won’t end up with heaps of wasted shells beneath your feeders that could contain harmful bacteria that could make birds ill. Ideally, purchase seed from companies who specialize in bird feed as they will understand exactly what wild birds need from seeds and nuts they provide.