The seeds of the sunflower plants (Helianthus annuus) for birds are one of the desirable bird feeder staples to invite a variety of bird species to your backyard for the pleasure of those lovely chirps. Northern Cardinals, Woodpeckers, Carolina Wrens, goldfinches, juncos, grosbeaks doves, and additional local birds are commonly attracted to these sunflower seeds.
What Is The Best Sunflower Seed For Birds?
Regardless, the birds are vigilant in nature, if you fail to provide the preferred embodiment of sunflower seeds you may risk losing them. If the feed is not correct, infectious diseases such as salmonellosis are contracted by the bacteria called salmonella from the excrement of birds, feathers, and feces.
Primarily, there are three types of sunflower seeds: Black oil sunflower seeds, Striped sunflower seeds, and Hulled sunflower seeds. black oil sunflower seeds are known as the best sunflower seeds for birds. At the store, You may wonder: if all sunflower seeds are the same.
Are Sunflower Seeds Good For Birds? Nutritional Benefits Of Feeding
Sunflower seeds are highly beneficial for both Humans and birds. They support the rich nutritional value of carbohydrates 20%, proteins 22%, 5% water, and 51% total fat. Additionally, these sunflower seeds also have other elements like minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc vitamins like B1, D, and A, and dietary fibers. To top this with cherry, the sunflowers seeds are also rich in phytosterols. A plant-based sterol chemical that lowers cholesterol levels.
As above mentioned, there are primarily three types of sunflower seeds which falls under the categories of Linoleic, high oleic, and sunflower oil seeds. Before acknowledging why sunflower seeds are preferred for bird staples, let’s understand which species eat what type of sunflowers seeds.
Black Oil Sunflower Seeds: These are best for finches, sparrows, chickadees, and nuthatches. Striped sunflower seeds These are known for attracting larger cardinals and grosbeaks while also keeping away starlings, house sparrows, and cowbirds. Hulled sunflower seeds: These are best to attract many types of species while cleaning the after mess themselves. Sunflower seeds are one of the best bird feeders as they have high nutritional value, better taste, and are easily available. Just like Humans, Birds like to crack the husk and enjoy the inner nutshell.
Compared to other bird feeders like safflower seeds, sunflower seeds are selectively preferred by birds for their ease of eating and high caloric values. Even ornithologists suggest feeding the black oil sunflower seeds is better for few species than any other staple.
Types Of Sunflower Seeds
- Black oil sunflower seeds: You’ve guessed it right, just as the name indicates the husk of the seed is black. And, it’s a kernel used to produce oil. The core matter of seed has highly concentrated fatty acids, linoleic acid.
They’re fit as snacks for both humans and birds. However, the silly snack labeled as Black Oil sunflower seeds can’t be edible by humans as they may possibly contain dirt, stems, and stones.
Birds love eating Black oil sunflower seeds! Because their husk is thinner and easier to crack open than striped sunflower seeds. However, tragically many black oil sunflower seeds are mixed with other types of seeds, which the birds simply toss away. Yes, what a waste of food, not to mention the mess created. Each bag of sunflower seeds ranges from 5 to 50 pounds.
- Striped sunflower seeds: These are available the same for humans and birds but labeled for birds may not be as clean to fit for human consumption. They’re grown in a different breed than black oil seeds and are larger.
Though it is good, most of the brides prefer black oil seeds. Since the hull of these is thicker and hard to open by birds, they often get discriminated against. The birds simply go away to look for another destination to dine at. However, they come in handy when you want to attract some specific bird rather than all together.
- Hulled sunflower seeds/ sunflower heart: These seed’s husks need to be removed mechanically which birds definitely enjoy doing so. Some of them are available as husk removed leaving the whole kernel to be edible. Though there have been conclusions that these types are made out of striped sunflower seeds.
- Sunflower chips: If the hulled sunflower seeds are broken down into two halves, then they are called sunflower chips.
Is Overfeeding Bad For Your Birds And Why?
Overfeeding of Sunflower Seeds For Birds is bad. Not only for birds but also for any living organisms. As for the birds feeding on sunflower seeds, the overfeeding will lead to the inability to digest the fat properly. As we are aware of the fact that seeds, especially sunflowers where we extract oil are rich in fats. When the little birds are availed of more food, they often tend to eat more than necessary.
The stomach of these birds fails to digest those extra ingested fats. As a result, these fats accumulate over time and start blocking the channels. Ultimately leading to death. Now, the death of a bird not only affects us emotionally but also physically. You may wonder how the dead bodies of birds potentially harbor many bacteria and viruses. And those dangerous tiny organisms from your backyard may reach you out and take you as their host.
Next time you are in the store for sunflower seeds, buy the best Sunflower Seeds For Birds. The things you need to look for are the feeder, the type of species you are aiming to feed, the preferred type of sunflower seeds, nutritional value, and cost.
Most birds prefer the sunflower seeds’ black oil. But if you want to avoid species like home spare you may need to go for Striped sunflowers. Another thing that is important to be noted down on when to be fed and how many times to be fed.
Feeding often or less can lead to a disaster. For tiny birds, you need to feed with a feeder which has easy access to chambers rather than a larger bird that prefers to hang on the feeder and explore the area.
Also Read:- Do Parrots Have Taste Buds? It’s interesting!