Birdies love to munch on various food items, among which sunflower seeds are the most preferred. Like humans, they also prefer cracking on sunflower seeds from wherever they find this food item.
But have you ever wondered, why do birds like sunflower seeds? Well, the answer is simple, firstly, these seeds are easy to crack and digest. Secondly, sunflower seeds provide all the required protein, carbohydrates, and minerals birds need to survive cold winters.
By consuming these seeds, birds get additional calories for survival, and that’s why they love to consume this delicious meal every time, anywhere. In this article, we’re going to talk about why birds like sunflower seeds, and some related info.
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Types of Sunflower Seeds
Helianthus annuus, aka sunflower, is the primary source of sunflower seed. A sunflower plant primarily produces three types of seeds: linoleic, high oleic, and sunflower oil. Every seed type comes with monounsaturated, saturated, polyunsaturated fats.
However, commercially, most manufacturers only process linoleic ones. The majority of the sunflower seeds you will find in the market fall in this category. And these manufacturers classify these seeds by their husks’ pattern.
For instance, if the husk is solid black, they call it black oil sunflower seeds, and these are the seeds birds love most.
The second one is the striped sunflower seeds which contain a more robust and larger husk than black oil sunflower seeds. These seeds are primarily processed for humans.
Lastly, the hulled sunflower seeds are dehulled seeds called sunflower kernels or hearts. However, we will briefly discuss these seed types later, but for now, let’s learn about the nutritional value of sunflower seeds.
Nutritional Value of Sunflower Seeds
Indeed, sunflower seeds are highly nutritious and healthy for humans and birds. According to research, it is proven that a 100-gram of dried whole sunflower seeds can provide up to 584 calories.
And these seeds will be full of 20% carbohydrates, 21% protein, 5% water, and 51% total fat. These sunflower seeds also contain dietary fiber, many B vitamins, Vitamin E, essential minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, iron, and zinc.
Additionally, sunflower seeds boast phytosterols, which help lower blood cholesterol levels. In short, this food item is packed with lots of healthy nutrients and minerals, which can benefit both you and your birdie’s health.
So, that’s all for seeds’ nutritional value, now let’s talk about which seeds are best for which birds, how long their lifespan is, and related topics.
All About Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
The black oil sunflower seeds contain a solid black hull, aka shell or husk. Their kernel is full of nutritious fatty acids, essential and healthy for human and bird health. Alongside cooking, the oil of sunflower is also used for some cosmetics.
Almost all seed-eating birds love to crack and eat black oil sunflower seeds as their shell is thin and easy to eat, even for small birds. Birds can effortlessly extract the kernel from the hull and swallow.
Most backyard birds love this seed type so much that if you place a feeder tray filled with mixed seeds in your outdoor space, your feathered friends will be most likely to pick and eat sunflower seeds while tossing the other seed kinds away.
Now let’s talk about which bird kinds love this food item the most.
Which Birds Do Prefer Consuming Black Oil Sunflower Seeds?
As we have said already, literally all birds that visit your yard will love to be treated with black oil sunflower seeds. But according to the avian experts’ statement, there are some common backyard birds out there that prefer black oil sunflower seeds:
- Sparrows…. and more.
Everything You Need To Know About Striped Sunflower Seeds
Striped sunflower seeds, also called confection sunflower seeds, are more like the black oil sunflower seeds. But they contain a more robust shell and house comparatively fatter, proteins, and essential oils than black oil sunflower seeds.
Mainly, these seeds are specially processed for human consumption rather than birds. These seeds tend to be larger, and birds find them harder to crack and eat. Still, some birdies love eating the striped sunflower seeds in their meals.
However, this isn’t the only reason birders serve striped sunflower seeds. They serve it to prevent pest birds from consuming all the seeds and taking over the feeders.
As you know, sparrows and cowbirds sometimes can be a nuisance during a particular time of the year, and in that time, you can fill your feeders with this seed kind to keep them away and lure your desired backyard birds into your home.
Which Birds Do Prefer Eating Striped Sunflower Seeds?
Although many small birds face difficulties opening the striped sunflower seeds’ shells, some birds can successfully extract the kernels and enjoy eating. Such kinds of birds are:
- English house sparrows, etc.
Get An Insight Into Hulled Sunflower Seeds
Hulled sunflower seeds are essentially usual sunflower seeds but without any husks. Yeah, their husks are removed mechanically to make these seeds wholly edible.
These seeds also contain the same nutritional properties of sunflower seeds that birds need to stay healthy in adverse weather conditions. But the significant benefit of serving hulled seeds to birds is that your feeder will be from the mess caused by the seeds’ shells.
For your information, these seeds’ shells come with biochemical substances, which can inhibit many plants’ growth. So if you opt for serving shelled sunflower seeds to your birds, make sure the underneath area where you have hung the bird feeder remains clean.
Which Birds Do Like Hulled Sunflower Seeds?
All seed-eating birds love to eat hulled sunflower seeds. Still, according to bird watchers’ statement, the birds that prefer hulled sunflower seeds are:
How Healthy Is It for Birds to Consume Sunflower Seeds?
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. These food elements help birds gain the required energy to conduct long-distance flights and also help them stay warm during those cold nights.
Besides that, sunflower seeds help birds grow their feathers and keep them shiny. So, you can say sunflower seeds are a lifesaver food item for your feathered friends.
How Long Do Sunflower Seeds Last?
It depends on a variety of storage conditions. For instance, after opening sunflower seeds from the package and storing them in an airtight container, you can expect these seeds to last for up to three months at room temperature.
And if you want to extend seeds’ shelf life to a greater extent, you can keep the sunflower seeds in a refrigerator, which will help increase their lifespan to twelve months. But they will remain safe for birds beyond that time as well.
How Do You Feed Birds Sunflower Seeds?
You can serve sunflower seeds using various bird feeders based on the bird types and sizes. For example, to feed tiny birdies, you need to utilize feeders that allow birds easy entrance to the feeding chambers.
In contrast, some birds love to perch on and hang around before starting to eat seeds, so choose bird feeders with perches such as hopper bird feeders, thistle bird feeders, and so on for such types of birds.
Again, some birds prefer feeder trays over hanging feeders. Thus, it will be an added plus if you place a feeder tray alongside installing a bird feeder in your garden, backyard, or other outdoor places.
Every birder knows that the most significant number of backyard birds love to devour the sunflower seeds, specifically black oil sunflower seeds. With immense health benefits and being effortlessly crackable, these seeds remain the top priority for most wild birds.
By the way, we hope you have learned a lot about why birds like sunflower seeds. If you still have any queries regarding this matter, feel free to ask below in the comment section. Here are our social media pages: Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
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