I would recommend peanuts. My days in the garden would be empty & sad without the birds and their beautiful song. 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. Which Birds Eat Sunflower Hearts? 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. How do you attract birds to your garden? Win Favourite Garden Birds – a hardback book! 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. So I found that throwing a few suet pellets down first , or even a few currants lets them devour what they need ! We love to hear from you! Striped sunflower seeds are best for attracting larger cardinals and grosbeaks while also discouraging starlings, house sparrows, and cowbirds. tips and bird based news direct from the team at Happy Beaks. Starlings love fat balls so I put one out just for them. I too have a group of about 8 - 10 Starlings taking everything before other birds get a chance ! 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. Sunflower hearts are usually just taken from black sunflower, and certainly that’s the case with the hearts we sell at Vine House Farm. Sunflower seeds are packed with fat and protein which are particularly hard for birds to come by during the cold winter months. 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. Discover their unique talents and learn how to keep them out of your bird feeders. What do starlings eat? Starlings have a very bad reputation and for good reason. 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. Ive been here for 2 months now and I noticed something strange in the garden today. Sunflower hearts. Best of all, they’re a great way to avoid the mess and waste associated with hull-on seeds. I have the same problem with starlings. Do remember to include other seeds in your feed, or put out different seeds at different times. I don't want to stop them eating, just a few table manners would be nice. Sunflower hearts as bird food. Douglas Adams. 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. I treat differents bird the same as at school when we had 1st and 2nd sittings . Due to issues out of our control we will be out of stock until 20/11/2020. I have learned that the Starlings will eat from an upside down suet feeder. Sure enough there were two of them snaffling around before flying off. I also have a cat and a lot of the neighbours do too, but none of the birds seem to get caught. Hi, try a cylinder of narrow mesh chicken wire around a long tube feeder ,has to stand off from the tube by about 6" & have a top & bottom mesh. I have solved the problem of how to feed the smaller birds - tits, sparrows and robins - the suet pellets without the starlings, of which I have loads, eating them all in an instant and bankrupting me. I have as many feeders but scattered all around a small sheltered garden on trees and shrubs, the shy birds soon find them ! And to top it all 6 Magpies and 2 Carrion Crows. A few single cuts in the mesh will allow the larger tits chaffs etc in, but keep the rapacious starlings out!! Starlings are used to eating at ground level in lawns, so they will visit a platform bird feeder. (Fortunately still no greys here on the Isle of Wight, just reds if you know where to look.) Sunflower hearts have the crunchy black seed casing stripped away meaning that birds can swallow it in a single gulp. They must be doing well round here in Wiltshire as there are so many of them. 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. I'm worried that one day I will be alone in that garden when all he birds have gone. Read all the latest hints. 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 … Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. lots and lots of birds eat it including blue tits , great tits ,coal tits ,goldfinches ,green finches ,chaffinches ,colled doves ,blackbirds and even the starlings trying to hang on to the seed feeder.There fantastic! I think LiveFoodsDirect also has the enclosed meal-worm feeders. Hulled Sunflower Seeds . 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. So feeding sunflower hearts can actually waste part of the heart which drops to the ground, and therefore husked seeds would provide better value … By offering only seed in the shell like black-oil sunflower, striped sunflower, safflower and even white millet you can avoid starlings. What am I doing wrong? Starlings are a biologically primitive species, and, unlike most songbirds found at our feeding stations, they have no crops. Many thanks to all who responded. They can’t stay in the upside down position as long as a Woodpecker but they can do it. Looks like I will be getting busy with the wire mesh. All my feeders are caged as I just cannot afford to feed the flocks of starlings. If your problem with these large bully black birds is seasonal, put off feeding bird seed with millet during the season they invade. Usually my regular bird visitors eat all the sunflower hearts & peanuts daily so I top up on a morning only. The Crows take a whole fat ball each and fly off once a day, and there is no squabbling at all between different species. All starlings are omnivorous, which means they eat a wide range of foods, including insects, seeds, and fruit. What could be better? One of the feeders I filled right to the top on sunday pm and when I have looked today its empty again??? 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! Second, the lack of the husk means that there is no unsightly pile of husks left behind on the ground after the birds have had their fill. If you are looking to attract more wild birds to your garden then sunflower hearts are the perfect choice. The high fat content also means the seed kernels have a calorie to weight ratio that’s hard to beat. Not all mesh cages are equal. ), Big Garden Birdwatch requires membership for participation - click to join. You might also google meal-worm feeders. 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 ;). Many thanks for all the further responses. Try Vine House Farms, Soar Mill Seeds, CJ Feeds, Haiths, Wiggly Wigglers [though they tend to be expensive]. 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. As juveniles they can be seen chasing after the parent bird on … There are different types of sunflower seeds, often named for the markings on their shell (black, striped, etc). And, when breeding season arrives, they provide a timely boost of energy to help birds raise their chicks. 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. In fairness the feeded was sold primarily to be squirrel proof. More Expensive – Because they have the shells removed after harvesting there are more costs involved. I feed them in a ground cage on a mesh tray. 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. Do also remember to wash your feeder regularly with a specialist cleaner. It is physically impossible for starlings to open those seeds. During that time I then put my usual hand fulls of Hedgerow Mix for my ground feed . In the summer and autumn, they take more seeds and berries and this seasonal shift is matched by a lengthening of their intestine to cope with the increased plant material, which is harder to digest. Sunflower hearts are popular too, but the starlings do have a problem with digesting these, not having the seed eater beak that sparrows have they can't crush them, and even though the shell is finer than the black/white sunflowers, it can be too tough for their digestive juices. And bird based news direct from the team at Happy Beaks greys here the. 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