Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shelled Sunflower Seeds - Part Three Of Seven

Sunflower seeds without the shell attract many more different species of birds than black oil sunflower seeds and striped sunflower seeds combined. If you offered only one kind of food to the birds, this would be the choice for all of them.

These hulled sunflower seeds can be purchased whole or as chips, (sometimes called hearts) and both forms are used in many wild bird seed mixes. These hulled seeds make no mess of shells that accumulate under the feeders as with the striped sunflower seeds or black oil sunflower seeds. You must remember though, that the shells of sunflower seeds contain a component that is toxic to grass. This component will kill any grass that is growing around or beneath your feeders. Raking up these seeds are a must and because of this, many people often choose hulled sunflower seeds.

Feeding the birds hulled sunflower seeds can be a huge benefit to the birds because none of their precious energy reserves are wasted opening the shells during the cold winter monts.

Hulled sunflower seeds attract a larger variety of species including birds that are not equipped with the beaks to crack open shells or not usually associated with eating sunflower seeds. By putting this seed out you may see robins, thrushes, mockingbirds, thrashers, catbirds, sparrows and bluebirds feeding at the base of your feeders.

The best reason to put out hulled sunflower seeds though, is to attract goldfinches. They simply cannot resist this food. Hulled sunflower seeds practically guarantee they'll be regular visitors at any feeder. Don't be surpised if you also see house wrens, purple finches, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, grosbeaks and
even woodpeckers.

Because the shells have to be removed, these seeds are costlier than sunflower seeds in the shell. There is a draw back to buying hulled sunflower seeds. The shelled seeds tend to spoil faster if exposed to dampness, so watch what type of feeder you use. They should be offered in feeders that provide protection from the elements so they stay dry for the birds to enjoy.


A Blond And A Torch said...

Thanks for the interesting post. I am going to try these in our feeder.

Chandramouli S said...

That's informative. I'm planning to make a bird-feeder too

Dee said...

I've been buying the shelled sunflower seeds and it is amazing the amount of birds at my feeder. Unfortuantly because of so much activity at the feeder now, I've recently seen a hawk in my tree, lol. But the plus side on that, I was able to get a good look at him. Seeing as my tree is only about 8 feet from my window and the hawk was right there!! Such a majestic bird! It was treat to see it. I'm just glad he wasn't able to make a treat of one of my birds!
I only had one lone bluejay that stuck around and he looked pretty nervous when I went to chase the hawk away. Only to find a second hawk a few yards away in another tree!
Can you tell me if feeding straight cheap oily chunky peanutbetter is bad for the birds? I have one group of birds (unknown species) that just LOVE the peanutbutter.
I smear it all over the trunk and they fight over it. But I'd rather not if I am harming them in anyway. Thanks!