Sunflower hearts are the ultimate food for small birds, and they make up a proportion of each food blend I send out. They attract a range of beautiful wild birds, and were found by the BTO to be the preferred food for goldfinches (even over nyjer seeds) – read more here. Let’s take a look at some reasons why your small birds will thank you for putting out a regular supply:
1. Sunflower hearts are safe for small birds
Sunflower seeds are encased in a black or striped husk which smaller birds like tits and finches must peck through to get to the nutrients inside. The amount of time it takes them to get through the husk keeps them on the bird feeder for longer than they need to be, which leaves them at risk of getting caught by predators, including cats and birds of prey. Sunflower hearts are quick to grab and fly away with, meaning the birds aren’t left on the feeder for long periods of time.
2. No husk means no waste
The husks are discarded by birds, leaving a mess around the bottom of your feeder which can attract rats and other vermin.
3. No unwanted seedlings
Whole sunflower seeds can fall to the floor and germinate – while sunflowers are a beautiful addition to any border or container, you don’t necessarily want them popping up in between your paving stones. Sunflower hearts are much less likely to germinate.
4. Sunflower hearts have a high calorie to weight ratio
Sunflower hearts pack maximum punch – they are calorie dense, meaning the birds need to eat less seeds to meet their daily calorie needs.
5. Sunflower hearts are packed with nutrition
Sunflower hearts are packed with protein, fat and essential oils, which are important for maintaining healthy beaks, feathers and skin. They also contain much needed vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E.
Sunflower hearts will attract siskins, tits, finches, robins, dunnocks, thrushes, woodpeckers, nuthatches, blackcaps and more – they’re universally loved and will always bring a rabble of birds to your garden!