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Sunflower Seed

Please Note: Actual shipping costs will be charged on all seed orders. Other products on the same order will be charged at our regular shipping price.

Description Ingredients What birds eat this?

Hands down the most popular food source for the largest number of birds. Unlike other brands, our black oil sunflowers are harvested fresh in the Red River Valley and shipped without "store-shelf fatigue."

The most frequent visitors to your backyard will be seed eating birds. Black-oil sunflower seed is the most popular choice of seed eating birds. In fact the experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service endorse sunflower seed as the #1 choice for most wild birds.

Black-oil sunflower has a higher percentage of meat and is a very nutritious source of high quality protein. The softer outer shell makes it easy for smaller birds like chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, goldfinches, pine siskins and finches. The seed also boasts a high concentration of oil which is especially important in the Winter. Birds will use their oil glands to spread the oil over their feathers to keep them buoyant, dry and warm.

Sunflower seed will disappear first in your feeding station. If you have ever offered a wild bird seed mix to your birds, you may have noticed that your birds will push aside the other seed in pursuit of the sunflower seed. Get the maximum enjoyment out of your wild bird feeding by offering black-oil sunflower seed!

Sunflower Seed--The Ultimate Universal Bird Food

Dr. Aelred D. Geis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a series of tests about the preference of wild birds at feeding stations. His studies revealed several things about black oil sunflower seeds. His study abstract said that "various bird species differed greatly in feeding preferences and these preferences were similar at all test locations. Many commonly used bird foods such as wheat, cracked corn and milo were relatively unattractive to most wild birds. Also, oil-type sunflower was more attractive than other types of sunflower seed. The manner of presenting food as well as the kind of food influences the species attracted to a feeder. The efficiency with which a specific species can be fed in terms of bird visits per unit cost can be greatly increased over that resulting from the use of commercial mixes by presenting attractive food in the manner most effective for the desired species."

Dr. Geis noted that the attractiveness of food was a determining factor as to whether the birds would choose to feed at a certain location.

Summarizing his findings when comparing the different types of feed, Dr. Geis wrote of oil-type sunflower seeds:

The small, black oil-type sunflower seed is superior to other foods, including black striped sunflower for most bird species. Among the common species visiting feeding tables, only the tufted titmouse, grackle and blue jay did not demonstrate a preference for oil type sunflower over black striped sunflower. Some species that are normally regarded as small-seed eaters took oil-type sunflower much more readily than black striped sunflower. For example, mourning doves found it almost as attractive as white proso millet, while both white-throated and song sparrows took it readily. Shortly after the conclusion of the major portion of this study of nation-wide tests, oil-type sunflower that was substantially smaller than that used in the tests became commercially available.

When the reaction of birds to this smaller seed was compared with that to the seed used in earlier tests, the smaller seed was found to be far more attractive for several species, especially American goldfinches. This information suggests that the superior performance of oil-type sunflower would have been even better had smaller seed been used. Incidentally, the smaller seed is viewed by the sunflower industry as "inferior" and is less expensive than the "higher" quality seed. Oil-type sunflower seeds tend to last longer in bird feeders because of the greater number of seeds per unit weight.

Geis concluded: "because of their general attractiveness, oil-type sunflower seed...should play a prominent part in most feeding programs. Although black striped sunflower, which has traditionally been used, is an excellent bird food, the oil-type sunflower seed is more attractive to most species and is no more expensive. People wanting to maximize bird feeding activity should avoid the use of commercial mixes which typically contain generally unattractive foods such as wheat, milo, peanut hearts, hulled oats and rice. However, because the species composition of the birds present varies from time to time and also from place to place, it is impossible to recommend what would constitute the appropriate ratio of even attractive ingredients. Therefore, it is not possible to formulate an entirely satisfactory seed mixture. The present study suggests that the best over-all results can be obtained by purchasing oil-type sunflower seed and white proso millet and offering them separately. This technique also facilitates recognition of the differences in feeding behavior among the various species. Specifically, those species that prefer white proso millet tend to use the ground or large platform feeders, while many species taking oil-type sunflower seed readily use elevated feeders with small perching areas such as tubular feeders. The present research establishes that the results of earlier studies applies throughout the United States and that the efficiency with which wild birds are fed could be improved by recognizing the great differences among bird species in the specific foods they find attractive and the manner in which they prefer to eat. This information on feeding preferences and behavior can be used to present foods known to be attractive in the amounts and ways that are most efficient for the desired bird species present.

This report takes the guess work away from whether a Sunfollower Sunflower Bird Feeder is a wise choice for your bird feeding. Naturally attractive with the seed that birds prefer.

black oil sunflower blue jay
dark-eyed junco
evening grosbeak
hairy woodpecker
house finch
house sparrow
mourning dove
pine siskin
purple finch
red-bellied woodpecker
red-headed woodpecker
red-winged blackbird
song sparrow
tufted titmouse
white-breasted nuthatch
white-crowned sparrow
white-throated sparrow

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