black sunflower seeds

Hi All,  As a relative newcomer to bird feeders i would just like a bit of advice / help. I have 9 feeders on my 2 feeding stations :-

2 with nuts

2 with no mess bird seed

2 with niger seed

1 with white sunflower hearts

1 with suet pellets (starlings go crazy)

and  1 with black sunflower seeds,

Going back to my question i picked the black sunflower seeds up from the local pet shop because they were cheap and i have not tried them before, problem is none of the birds seem interested in them, a couple of sparrows flew onto the black sunflower seed feeder then flew off in disgust, are they actually worth having or am i best replacing them with another type of food..................Many thanks Colin

Regards Colin

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  • Oh they will ignore them for days, and then for absolutely no apparent reason be THE food of choice!

    I quite often go thru this sketch with peanuts.

    Days and they sniff their little beaks up at them, all they want is fat sticks .. and then .. bam, the peanut feeder is empty and I am getting "come on then, where's our peanuts?" looks!

    I'd leave them out. Caoal Tits prefer the black sunflower hearts in my experience.

    Ant

    "IT IS SAID THAT LIFE FLASHES BEFORE YOUR EYES BEFORE YOU DIE. THAT IS TRUE, IT'S CALLED LIVING."
    Death - Terry Pratchett (The Last Continent).

  • In reply to doggie:

    Thanks Ant & Alan, will leave them in the feeder for a couple of weeks to see if any of the birds tuck into them, if not i will do as you did Alan and use them on the station tray feeder....Thanks Colin

    Regards Colin

    See my photos  HERE

    See my videos   HERE

  • In reply to Welshviking:

    Hi WV

    There are lot's of previous threads about what food to try in hanging feeders. They will be in the Feeding Garden Visitors forum under the Wildlife>forums Tab

    www.rspb.org.uk/.../14005.aspx

    Personally I mix black sunflower seeds with sunflower hearts and peanut granules to make my own seed mix. However, generally speaking cheap seed isn't very good, it might be old or imported from China, rather than British grown which will be much fresher. My visiting birds love their black sunflower seeds. If you want to try something that might make them more palatable, try putting a little vegetable oil (a little!) in your hand, and rubbing your hands together like it's hand cream, then rub your hands through the sunflower seeds in a large tub until it's all gone. It's as if it revitalises the seed and makes it more palatable.

    I don't put suet pellets anywhere near my other hanging feeders because of the Starlings. I put them in a different part of the garden away from the smaller birds

    Best wishes Chris

    Click Here to see my photos

  • In reply to Woodpecker:

    Thanks for the advice Woodpecker, i have just rubbed the black sunflower seeds with a little veggie oil as you suggested, will wait to see if it has any response from our little feathered friends

    Regards Colin

    See my photos  HERE

    See my videos   HERE

  • In reply to Welshviking:

    I find it very interesting  Welshviking in regard to what you've said about Black  sunflower seeds. And thank you Doggie, Woodpecker , and Ponty Cyclops for your opinions and recommendations.

    I have been in despair over recent weeks as all my black sunflower seeds from my RSPB Feeder Mix Extra (which is excellent btw) have been ending up whole on my patio steps and because of other detritus on the steps I am unable to use them again. The white sunflower seeds end up as husks on my steps but not so the black. It is proving SO expensive to feed my garden birds.

    I have decided to invest in yet one more feeder and try a seed mix without Black sunflower seeds, can anyone recommend a mix  (from the RSPB please)?

    Thanks


  • In reply to Cirrus:

    Hello welshviking, have read all the posts with interest. We all have slightly different stories to tell. When I first put out bird seed, I was attracted by the price of black sunflower seeds and combined with peanuts and niger seed, thought I had it sorted. It was lovely watching the greenfinches strip the black coating off the seed head and, dropping bits as they went, gradually finding the high protein centre. They made a real mess and I was constantly clearing up the spent husks. Then I was recommended sunflower hearts and tried them and I haven't put out black sunflower seeds since. I am probably missing a lot of fun, but I still have all the same birds as before without the mess. The price of bird seed is massive and if I had to choose one seed only, I would choose sunflower hearts. Even my great spotted woodpeckers will eat it if there are no peanuts to be had. I have tried mixed seed, but it isn't as popular as sunflower hearts and a lot of it is dropped unwanted. Of course in a perfect world, I would love to put out a banquet, but like Cirrus, have to watch the cost as well as the birds.

    bye for now

  • In reply to Cirrus:

    Cirrus said:

    steps but not so the black. It is proving SO expensive to feed my garden birds.

    I have decided to invest in yet one more feeder and try a seed mix without Black sunflower seeds, can anyone recommend a mix

     

    Hi Cirrus

    I don't usually buy mixtures now. I make my own mix using black sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts and peanut granules and I buy in bulk from excellent online suppliers like Street End Feeds (Really Wild Birdfood Co) or Jacobi Jayne (who incidentally are less expensive than the RSPB and don't charge me £3.95 P&P) Both of these suppliers do a premium mixture that contains no black sunflower seeds, and JJ also do a similar version that contains no small seeds that birds sometimes leave

    Best wishes Chris

    Click Here to see my photos

  • In reply to Woodpecker:

    Hello, just a note about using oil on bird food, it can actually be problematic for wild birds if it gets on their feathers. Getting smeared in oil, even just a little bit, can reduce birds ability to keep out moisture which reduces their ability to keep warm. Its probably best to play it safe and not cover the seeds with oil.

    Finding the right bird food for your garden birds is a case of trial and error, what works for one person may not for another due to local variations in species composition. However, sunflower hearts seem to be popular with most birds and you can use a variety of household food items such as porridge oats and raisins to provide birds with healthy food at relatively low cost.

    Warden Intern at Otmoor.

  • In reply to Woodpecker:

    That's great Woodpecker. I'll go up and look and make a few  decisions. Wonderful about no P&P, but is it reflected in the price ?  Anyway, I can judge. Many thanks

  • In reply to Woodpecker:

    In my opinion, some of the seed mixes on the market are just expensive fads. I buy a premium seed mix that contains no cereals - I avoid cereals like the plague because all they do is attract pigeons. I add equal quantities of sunflower hearts and peanut granules to this seed mix and there is no waste at all. It all gets eaten.

    I don't provide black sunflower seeds other than the few in the premium seed mix. I stick to just sunflower hearts and nyjer in my hanging feeders and find all birds like the sunflower hearts.

    I also keep any suet or fat products well away from my hanging feeders, likewise trays, otherwise the starlings and jackdaws cause chaos.

    Cheers, Linda.

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