If you’d like to encourage more bird species to visit your backyard or patio, you may want to plant some wild bird sunflower seeds. Safflower and Black oil sunflower seeds are both favorite foods for birds. Black oil sunflower seeds contain the toxin cyanide. Hulled sunflower seeds are more popular among songbirds, but they may contain toxic chemicals that can kill birds. This article will discuss how to choose the best wild bird sunflower seed for your situation.
Safflower is a type of wild bird sunflower seed
There are several species of birds that will eat safflower seeds, but not all will eat the whole kernel. Some will crack open the shell and eat the meat inside, but most will just swallow the whole safflower seed. The only difference between safflower and standard seeds is the shape of the seed. Safflower seeds have an unusual shape and have to be cracked open before they are eaten.
While the shell of traditional Safflower is hard, it does not deter squirrels. This is one of the reasons why some bird feeders have a special squirrel-proof feature. But sunflower in the shell is safe for squirrels and can be offered in tube feeders. Safflower is also a favorite of cardinals and other large birds, but not of house sparrows or European starlings.
Black oil sunflower seeds are a favorite of dozens of bird species
Black oil sunflower seeds are a staple backyard bird food. They attract many types of birds and provide an excellent source of energy. These seeds are easily digestible, and the thin shell allows birds to break them open to extract the meat. Black oil sunflower seeds are excellent for attracting a variety of bird species including bobwhites, nuthatches, sparrows, and more. This popular seed attracts more birds than any other kind. For best results, try offering black oil sunflower seeds in large port tube feeders, which are perfect for attracting a variety of bird species.
Birds of all ages love to eat black sunflower seeds. Nightingales, finches, pigeons, goldfinches, grosbeaks, and woodpeckers enjoy them. Sunflower seeds are also a favorite food source for bully birds, European starlings, and other raptors. Black oil sunflower seeds are rich in protein and fatty oils that help keep feathers shiny.
Hulled sunflower seeds are a favorite of songbirds
If you want to attract more songbirds to your yard, consider offering sunflower seed. Hulled sunflower is the kernel inside the black oil sunflower seed that has been hulled and shell removed. This type of sunflower seed is also known as “no mess” sunflower seed and is more expensive than unhulled varieties. Hulled sunflower seed is available in stores in both pure form and as part of a bird seed mix. It is the most common seed among songbirds in North America.
Songbirds love to eat sunflower seeds, but there is a problem with the hulled variety. These seeds are difficult for birds to crack, and their beaks are large enough to break through the hard shell. Unlike their non-shelled cousins, larger birds may struggle with breaking through the hull. Pre-shelled sunflower seeds are a great treat for birds, and they double as no-waste food. Hulled sunflower seeds are also much easier to clean.
Hulled sunflower seeds contain toxin cyanide
A recent study by Michigan State University researchers shows that hulled sunflower seeds often contain a toxin called aflatoxin. This toxin is produced by molds known as Aspergillus. Other crops that commonly contain this toxin include almonds, peanuts, and pistachios. The findings are one of the first to link sunflower seeds and aflatoxin contamination.
Though sunflower seeds do not contain a toxin, they should be rinsed after soaking, as they are prone to germinating. Hulled sunflower seeds are a natural filler in bird feeders. You can buy a “no mess” blend without hulls and avoid the hazard of consuming toxin-containing sunflower seeds. You will need to clean out the mixture occasionally if seeds fall to the ground.
Although it is difficult to know exactly how much cyanide sunflower seeds contain, researchers have developed methods to treat flaxseed to prevent the production of the toxin and preserve its nutritive value. One method involves steam-evaporation. This process is far less toxic than heating or lyophilising flaxseed. A fermentation technique has been developed by Wu et al.