black sunflower seeds

  • In reply to IanH:

    Ian H said:
    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.

    I am aware of this and I would hate anyone to think I go around smearing my bird food in loads of oil.

    What I once noticed was that the usual smooth feel of my black sunflower seeds had disappeared while they were out in my 'No-No' feeder and they all felt like really dry and scratchy seed casings. The birds had ignored them for quite a while. So I tipped them into a tub, put one tiny drop of oil in the palm of my hand, rubbed my hands together and rubbed my hands through the seed, just to make them feel slightly more smooth again, then the birds ate them all within 2 days. There should definitely never be any slick oiliness to the seeds, but they should be free flowing and smooth. Old ones or cheap ones can sometimes seem dry and scratchy, and the birds don't eat them.

    Best wishes Chris

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  • Personally, I have found the best use for black sunflower seeds is... planting them in the soil to grow sunflowers!
    Yes, the sunflower seeds from the cheapest bird mix I ever used grew really well. The birds never like them but my children enjoyed them more - watching them grow, watering them and helping them stand up.

    Sunflower hearts are a winner in my garden.


    I love birding so much I wrote my own blog. It's a great way to learn and share.

  • That's novel, Stuart. Now a use for unwanted fat balls.

    On a slightly more serious note, I've seen two references in the last six months to research papers that claim to show that feeding black sunflower seeds (in particular) all year around has a negative impact on the reproductive capacities of some 'garden' birds. Greenfinches in particular if I remember correctly.

    So, if that's true, 'keep them in the ground' seems the best approach.

    Best regards -