Bird Seed - Safflower

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Safflower is an annual flower seed favored by medium and large songbirds.

Safflower seeds are a useful but relatively uncommon type of bird seed, but because of their great nutrition and which birds eat them, they are gradually growing in popularity among backyard birders.


Grackles and starlings shy away from safflower.


Because many birds that prefer safflower are larger species that require adequate perching space, safflower seeds are best offered in large hopper, tube, or platform feeders. Any feeder that can accommodate Whole Sunflower seeds will also be suitable for offering safflower seeds. Tossing some of the seed on the ground near shrubby, sheltered areas can also be a good way to provide it to ground-feeding birds such as doves and quail.

Because safflower seeds look and taste different than more familiar sunflower seeds, birds may take some time to get used to this new food offering. Mixing small amounts of safflower seed into a birdseed mix or with black oil sunflower seeds can tempt birds to try the new seed. The proportion of safflower to sunflower can gradually be changed as they accept the new food. At first, birders should be prepared for some spillage as birds sort through mixes to get to the most familiar seeds, but removing alternative foods can encourage birds to try something new.