Sunflower Seed

Probably the most commonly used bird seed, birds eat sunflower seed due to its high fat content. There are primarily three sunflower seed options; black-oil sunflower, striped sunflower, and hulled sunflower. Black-oil sunflower seed is eaten by more birds than striped sunflower seed due to its smaller size and easier to crack shell. Though striped sunflower seed will still be eaten (and may be preferred) by larger bird species like Blue Jays and Woodpeckers. Hulled (shell removed) sunflower seeds attract the greatest number of bird species because they are easiest to eat, especially for birds who don’t have the beak strength to crack shelled sunflower seed. While hulled sunflower seed is the most expensive, it does not make the mess the shelled varieties often make. 

Birds that Eat Black-Oil or Striped Sunflower Seed 

Black-Capped Chickadee     Blue Jay     Brown Thrasher     Downy Woodpecker     Eastern Towhee    House Finch     Northern Cardinal     Purple Finch                      Red-Bellied Woodpecker     Rose-Breasted Grosbeak     Tufted Titmouse     White-Breasted Nuthatch 

Birds that Eat Hulled Sunflower

American Goldfinch     American Robin     Black-Capped Chickadee     Blue Jay     Brown Thrasher     Carolina Wren     Downy Woodpecker     Eastern Towhee                               Mourning Dove     Northern Cardinal     Pine Siskin     Purple Finch     Red-Bellied Woodpecker     Rose-Breasted Grosbeak     Tufted Titmouse                               White-Breasted Nuthatch     White-Throated Sparrow     Wild Turkey