What Birds Eat Black Oil Sunflower Seeds? [Detailed Guide]

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What birds eat black oil sunflower seeds?

If you’re like me, you love to watch birds at your feeder. It’s really amazing to see the different kinds of birds that come to visit.

But what do they all eat? I was curious about that, so I did a little research. Turns out, black oil sunflower seeds are a popular food choice for many different kinds of birds!

Read on to learn more about which birds love black oil sunflower seeds and why.

READ MORE: Can Budgies Eat Tangerines?

Benefits of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

According to botanists, sunflower oil seeds contain 24% protein and 50% fat. Birds eat these fatty seed coats for their feathers because they’re low in calories but high in nutrients; this helps birds maintain shiny plumage! [1]

In addition, this tasty treat also solves any deficiency in normal proteins due to its high content of fatty acids.

Because of their nutritional value, black oil sunflower seeds are often used as a supplemental food source for birds during the winter months.

In addition to providing essential nutrients, the seeds can also help to keep birds’ energy levels up during the colder months.

There are two types of sunflower seeds commonly found in Helianthus Annuus. One is striped sunflower seeds and the other is black oil sunflower seeds.

Black oil sunflower seeds are slightly different from striped sunflower seeds. Striped sunflower seeds have light thin shells which are not present in black oil sunflower seeds.

However, both types of seeds provide a lot of protein and oil.

Let’s take a look at the nutrients in black oil sunflower seeds.

  • 25% fiber
  • 28% fat
  • 15% protein
  • Vitamin B
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin E
  • Potassium and
  • Iron

READ MORE: List of Birds That Lay Blue Eggs

Pros and Cons of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

Black oil sunflower seeds are a popular type of bird food and for good reason.

Overall, black oil sunflower seeds can be a great way to help wild birds survive the winter, but you should be aware of the possible risks before feeding them to your feathered friends.

Birds That Black Oil Sunflower Seed Attract

Black sunflower seeds are a popular food for many different kinds of birds. Some of the most common birds that are attracted to black sunflower seeds include: [2]

bird eating black Oil Sunflower Seeds but what Birds Eat Black Oil Sunflower Seeds?
  • Northern cardinals
  • Finches
  • Tufted titmice
  • Gray catbirds
  • Mourning and Eurasian doves
  • Boat-tailed grackles
  • Cassin’s
  • Goldfinches
  • Evening grosbeaks
  • Starlings
  • Bushtits
  • Blackbirds
  • Black-billed magpies
  • Pine siskins
  • Grackles

All of these birds play an important role in keeping our gardens and yards free of harmful insects. In addition, their cheerful songs add a touch of beauty to the natural world.

So, if you’re looking to attract some feathered friends to your yard, be sure to pick up some black sunflower seeds!

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What Should You Look for When Buying Black Oil Sunflower Seeds?

When it comes to attracting birds to your backyard, few things are more effective than a feeder stocked with black oil sunflower seeds.

Not only do they provide a high-quality source of nutrition, but they’re also relatively inexpensive and easy to find.

However, not all sunflower seeds are created equal. Here are a few things to look for when purchasing black oil sunflower seeds:

  • The seed should be free of debris and dust.
  • The shell should be intact – cracked or damaged shells can indicate that the seed is old or has been poorly stored.
  • The seed should be plump and uniform in size. Small, shriveled seeds may not be as nutritious as their larger counterparts.
  • Finally, check the packaging to make sure that the seeds have not been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.

When it comes to birdseed, quality matters. By taking the time to select the best black oil sunflower seeds, you can ensure that your feathered friends are getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy and happy.

The Source of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

Americans have been at the forefront of producing black oil sunflower seeds for more than 500 years. Later the Spanish people brought dynamism and success to their black oil sunflower seed production.

Sunflowers are actually native to North America. Evidence has been found that sunflowers were cultivated by Americans as early as 320 BC!

In 1926, the Missouri Sunflower Growers Association participated in the first processing of sunflower seed oil. Currently, in the United States, 85% of black oil sunflowers are grown commercially in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota.

Growing & Taking Care of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

The scientific name for the black oil sunflower is Helianthus annuus. It is an annual plant that grows to a height of 18-36 inches and has yellow flowers that bloom from June to September.

To grow black oil sunflower seeds, start by planting the seeds in well-drained soil in full sun. While the seeds don’t need to be planted very deep (1-2 inches deep), they do need consistent moisture to germinate.

Once they’re planted, it’s important to keep the soil moist but not too wet. Water your sunflower seedlings once or twice a week, depending on the weather conditions.

Once the seedlings emerge, thin them out so that they’re spaced about 8-12 inches apart.

When the plants are blooming, you can expect to see plenty of bees and other pollinators visiting your garden. The flowers will produce seed heads that ripen throughout the summer.

As the sunflowers begin to grow, you may need to stake them to keep them from falling over. When the flowers are blooming, be sure to deadhead spent blossoms to encourage continued blooming

Wen the flower heads start to droop, it is an indication that they are ready to harvest. To remove the seeds, cut the heads off and place them in a paper bag.

Then, shake the bag until the seeds have loosened and fall out. Finally, spread the seeds on a baking sheet and allow them to dry completely before storing them in an airtight container.

By following these simple steps, you can enjoy fresh black oil sunflower seeds all season long!

How to Feed Birds Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

One option is to purchase a bird feeder specifically designed for sunflower seeds.

These feeders typically have a tray or platform where the seeds can be placed, as well as a perch for the birds to rest on while they eat. Another option is to simply scatter the seeds on the ground.

This works well if you have a large backyard, but it’s not ideal if you have pets that could be tempted to eat the seeds as well.

Second, provide a shallow dish of water for the birds to drink from. Seeds can be hard for birds to swallow, and a drink of water will help them to wash them down.

To feed the birds black oil sunflower seeds you can supply large quantities of seeds in mesh feeders, grasshoppers, or tray feeders. Spread the seeds in the soil for birds that like to pick food from the soil.

Be wary of little baby birds that may not be able to eat the whole seed. Crush some seeds so that the small birds can also be able to feed.

Finally, be patient! It may take a little while for the birds to find your seed dish, but once they do, you’ll be able to enjoy watching them feed.

By following these simple tips, you can create a safe and inviting space for birds to enjoy sunflower seeds all season long.

Check out this cute video.


Is black oil sunflower seed good for birds?

Yes, it is, it contains nutritious elements for your feathered friend. Sunflower seeds contain 25% fiber, 28% fat, 15% protein, vitamin B, calcium, vitamin E, potassium and Iron.

Can all birds eat black oil sunflower seeds?

Almost all species of birds can eat black oil sunflower seeds.

Do mourning doves eat black oil sunflower seeds?

Yes, mourning doves like to eat black oil sunflower seeds. Mourning doves and pigeons can eat the whole seed because they can easily open the seed shells.

Final Words

Birds love black oil sunflower seeds!-These little seeds are a great source of protein and other nutrients for birds.

Birds that eat black oil sunflower seeds tend to be healthier and have more energy.-Black oil sunflower seeds can be found at most pet stores or bird feeders.

If you’re looking to attract a variety of birds to your backyard, then be sure to stock up on these delicious little treats.

bird eating Black Oil Sunflower Seeds


1. Sunflower Seed – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics [Internet]. www.sciencedirect.com. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/sunflower-seed

2. Feeding Birds: a Quick Guide to Seed Types [Internet]. All About Birds. 2009 [cited 2022 Jun 27]. Available from: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/types-of-bird-seed-a-quick-guide/#:~:text=Black%20oil%20sunflower%20seed%20is

Andreea Juganaru
Andreea Juganaru

Andreea is a very passionate content creator and her purpose is to provide you with the most interesting articles, while constantly discovering new facts. She’s been freelance writing for the past five years and has created numerous articles and educational materials while managing her own mom blog.
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