Hulled Sunflower Seeds . We also put out fat balls in a metal cage, Niger seed in a special feeder, peanuts & mixed seed all of which do not seem to get much attention. Leave us a comment below and share your photos over on our Facebook page. Starlings love fat balls so I put one out just for them. However, they all come from the common sunflower plant, Helianthus annuus.If you are wondering what birds eat black sunflower seeds (also called black oil sunflower seeds due to their high fatty oil content), you have come to the right place. They then tend to fly off elsewhere in search of food . Many birds love this, as of course do squirrels, and it’s expensive. Starlings do build their own nests, but they’re famous for shoddy construction. Stripped of their hard protective shells, sunflower hearts will go bad after a time and the fat in the seed kernel will turn rancid. They then tend to leave the peanuts, nyger seeds and sunflower hearts alone and concentrate on it. tips and bird based news direct from the team at Happy Beaks. Due to issues out of our control we will be out of stock until 20/11/2020. For example, a European Starling’s bill might not be able to crack a stripped hard-shelled sunflower seed, but can easily eat a un-shelled sunflower heart. 2. Do remember to include other seeds in your feed, or put out different seeds at different times. The biggest problem encountered while trying to design a system that was completely foolproof, was, that people tended to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. The high fat content also means the seed kernels have a calorie to weight ratio that’s hard to beat. The general level of activity on the feeders showed a distinct drop as soon as the very cold weather turned mild. Next to sunflower seeds, most birds like white proso millet, including blackbirds. Because birds gulp down the sunflower hearts without first having to crack open the shells, they’re also less likely to drop them on the ground, reducing the chances of rats and other vermin coming to feed and set up home on your property. They are a pair of Blue Tits, and 20+ Sparrows, a pair of Blackbirds, plus 15+ pigeons and 1  Robin, 6 Collared Doves and 6 Wood Pigeons. I put chopped peanuts out for my smaller birds and the starlings gobble them up quickly. Its the usually the Gray Squirrels that pinch the little birds food if I don't keep the monkey nuts topped up in their baskets ;). Douglas Adams. Sunflower hearts are a great option because unlike shell-on seeds which only hard-bill birds like finches can open easily, with the husk already removed, soft-bill birds like robins can also get in on the feast. I also fill up the two feeding stations with seed feeders and with the fat balls and coconuts on both stations. Discover their unique talents and learn how to keep them out of your bird feeders. Find out more about the partnership, © The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. Feed your other birds very early in the morning and near dusk at evening as starlings seem to start feeding later and stop earlier. What do starlings eat? In fairness the feeded was sold primarily to be squirrel proof. Starlings aren't all bad, though. If you enjoy feeding wild birds, you probably don’t like starlings. Looks like I will be getting busy with the wire mesh. I have the same problem with the starlings,eating the food and leaving none or very little for the little birds. Birds love to snack on sunflower seed hearts even more than we humans do. I have feeders and a bird table and a square piece that I put  food down, its just a concrete square with a brick border, so the birds sort of hop into the square to feed. Easy-peasy! They do not recognise that sunflower hearts have no husks, and so they strip the outer part of the heart using the action that would normally strip the husk. SC037654, Our daily visitor, a beautiful white sparrow, newbie wanting to share white sparrow (poss? Starlings prefer insects, fruits, grains, and will eat your bird seed if it seems to be an easy source of food. Sunflower Hearts from Little Peckers 30kg 2 X 15kg . Just like humans, songbirds need to eat a varied diet rich in vitamins and minerals; sunflower hearts are a healthy option for both us and our feathered friends. Hi I also have a 20+ strong Starling Gang, they are amazing, I also have a wide range of birds that come to the feeders. I have seen a plastic feeder with an ajustable umberella type cover for this sort of thing but at least half of the dozen or more on display were already broken. ), Big Garden Birdwatch requires membership for participation - click to join. As the sunflower seed husks are removed, it means the wild birds will eat it all, so no mess is left behind! And for finches, blackbirds, starlings, thrushes, siskins and even robins, the high fat and protein content are just what they need to see them though the winter months. If your problem with these large bully black birds is seasonal, put off feeding bird seed with millet during the season they invade. The blue,great,long tailed and coal tits have all learnt to take the suet from the ground feeder and this way the kilos of pellets now. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Can you Put to Much Food out for the Birds. They are all too busy catching the mice. Get an enclosed meal-worm feeder. I too have a group of about 8 - 10 Starlings taking everything before other birds get a chance ! The list of birds that are partial to a hulled sunflower seed is a long one indeed. Starlings are an omnivorous bird species, which means that they feed on a wide variety of items. For garden owners concerned about spillage, mess, and the like we recommend sunflower hearts, which are husked kernels, meaning less mess and less risk of … To prevent your seeds making visiting birds unwell, it’s best to only put out a day or two’s worth of feed at a time, making sure to clean up any spills. I find that the starlings concentrate on the obvious feeders, try a few fat balls near more cover and the tits will use that while the gang attack the main feeders. The last, ... Starlings and Doves coming along for a nibble of these tasty seeds. I will give the (just off the) ground cage idea a go. In fact, Starlings are not seed-eaters, and cannot even digest the hard shells. You can help to keep your sunflower hearts in good edible condition by presenting them in a cage-type feeder which allows the air to circulate through the seeds, keeping them nice and dry. Sunflower hearts as bird food. Starlings are often found perching and nesting on gutters because they provide them with a water source. The odd bird is no problem but 30 of them is no joke. More Expensive – Because they have the shells removed after harvesting there are more costs involved. Starlings have softer bills than most seed eaters, so peanuts (in the shell) and white-striped sunflower seed pose problems for them to open, so you might switch to those items while the starlings are still present. I was able to keep sunflower hearts in the three cage feeders all along, but I like to offer it in the Squirrel Buster feeders as well to accommodate more birds, especially the American Goldfinches who nest late and get very eager for sunflower hearts when they do. How to photograph garden birds – tips from Happy Beaks’ favourites, How to attract birds to your feeding station, Helpful animals to encourage to your garden, How to attract woodpeckers to your garden. Similarly, a Pine Siskin or an American Goldfinch might not be able to handle the shell of a black-oil sunflower seed but might eat bits of that type of sunflower dropped by other birds. As starlings are devilishly clever, you'll have to very slightly bend in the entrance holes - the little beggars have managed to wiggle their way into mine! Without the protection of the shell, sunflower hearts and chips quickly spoil, and can harbor dangerous bacteria, so it’s important to offer no more than can be eaten in a day or two. One part of me was thinking "oh lord here we go with expensive bird food orders" now that they know there is food here, but another part of me got excited because I think they are lovely and I was secretly glad to see that they have appeared around here because they aren't half comical to watch. I do not wish to deny the starlings food at all and I would continue to provide them with some that they could accesss. Sunflower hearts are usually just taken from black sunflower, and certainly that’s the case with the hearts we sell at Vine House Farm. As well as being high in vitamin E they contain the trace elements, copper, manganese and selenium – all great for keeping birds in good condition from beak to tail feathers. The house I am now moved to has not had any starlings or sparrows which I found really sad. Birds eat the internal hearts of the sunflower seed. 1. The way I feed them all is to Scatter some of the seed on the lawn together with the fat balls and fat pellets. Birds love to snack on sunflower seed hearts even more than we humans do. And to top it all 6 Magpies and 2 Carrion Crows. Many thanks to all who responded. Today though, I went out for 2 hours and when I returned the feeders were so bare it was madness and I just knew that it wasnt the norm around here and that the starlings must have started coming. Do also remember to wash your feeder regularly with a specialist cleaner. I treat differents bird the same as at school when we had 1st and 2nd sittings . What kind of feeders should I use to discourage starlings? Which Birds Eat Sunflower Hearts? (Fortunately still no greys here on the Isle of Wight, just reds if you know where to look.) Read all the latest hints. Safflower is a seed with a hard shell. Is it true that blackbirds, starlings, and grackles do not like safflower seeds? Birdseed cultivation is growing, however, as more birders discover the value and usefulness of this seed. In an attempt to allow the smaller birds a greater chance of getting their favorite food, I have tried a propriatory feeder with a protection cage but this has not stopped the starlings getting access. Starlings have a very bad reputation and for good reason. I would recommend peanuts. There are no birds at my feeder. There are different types of sunflower seeds, often named for the markings on their shell (black, striped, etc). I just wondered if anyone has any thoughts about providing the Bluetits with suet pellets and mealworms in such a way that the starlings cannot easily rob them all. The Pigeons are great at guarding the other birds as when they are spooked everything fies to the trees, bushes and fences that we have in our garden. Find one which has a smaller grid or one which you can adjust the size of the mesh. Today though, I went out for 2 hours and when I returned the feeders were so bare it was madness and I just knew that it wasnt the norm around here and that the starlings must have started coming. The mesh size on my guarded feeded is quite small but I have observed that it still allows the starlings to put their heads through and their long beaks allow them access to the food. The RSPB sells both. Fruit seeds, suet, bird seed, crumbs, grains, trash, fruit, insects, and grubs are all part of their diet. Ive been here for 2 months now and I noticed something strange in the garden today. They can be fed from a bird seed feeder, bird table or scattered on … My days in the garden would be empty & sad without the birds and their beautiful song. What is the very best seed to offer to birds? I have 4 seed feeders 1 Fat ball feeder, 1 nut feeder and then I mix fatballs and food and put some on the birdtable and some on the ground in my concrete square. If you are looking to attract more wild birds to your garden then sunflower hearts are the perfect choice. Try Vine House Farms, Soar Mill Seeds,  CJ Feeds, Haiths, Wiggly Wigglers [though they tend to be expensive]. Starlings are incredibly opportunistic feeders and can find food just about anywhere - which makes one wonder why they are in such a steep decline. Choosing the best bird feeder for your garden, Preparing Your Garden for Spring Wildlife. We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy, The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. What is stealing my suet? Sunflower hearts are generally of good quality and are easy to eat. I watched yesturday, I had just put fresh food down fresh water, and the starlings seemed to hop into the water as if they were soaking the feet, and a poor blackbird was wanting to go in, beaks at dawn I think, so comical to watch. Sunflower seeds are packed with fat and protein which are particularly hard for birds to come by during the cold winter months. The article says Starlings are … What do they eat. They can’t stay in the upside down position as long as a Woodpecker but they can do it. The house I used to live at had so many starlings, sparrows & Collard doves it was fantastic to watch & I learned then that the starlings are greedy little beggars, noisy squabblers but just gorgeous in their own right. It is physically impossible for starlings to open those seeds. What do starlings eat? They open the shell either by chewing or by pounding them open with their bill. Even now as I write the Starlings are long gone and I've two Collared Doves now waiting for their turn . Starlings just about eat anything but they enjoy feeding on worms, snails, insects, fruit and seed mixes. European Starlings are primarily insectivores and, in fact, do an incredible job of keeping our yards free of some of the bad buggies out there. Also consider investing in a squirrel proof feeder or your seeds won’t last long at all; squirrels love sunflower hearts. All sunflower seeds are from the sunflower plant, Helianthus annus, and hulled seeds are the same as striped or black oil sunflower seeds, just without the hard, inedible shell.Also called sunflower hearts or cracked sunflower seeds, these seeds are a superior source of fat, fiber, protein, and vitamins, providing excellent nutrition for all backyard birds. Therefore, they are generally more expensive. I have learned that the Starlings will eat from an upside down suet feeder.