Tip 1) Feed Niger seed (thistle) This plant seed is also sold under the trademark name Nyjer. It does not germinate and sprout in your lawn–for one very good reason.
Select foods that won’t sprout, such as sunflower hearts, peanuts, peanut butter, raisins, mealworms, and plain suet cakes. Buy only treated wild bird food mixtures. Many manufacturers are now baking their products to kill weed seeds, using guidelines established by the US Department of Agriculture.
As an annual, safflower must be started from seed each year. The seeds sprout in just 10 to 15 days, although they must be sown at the right time and under the correct conditions to help guarantee successful, even germination.
Birds throw seed hulls from the feeder
Birds eat the meat of the seed, the kernel. They discard the seed’s fibrous outer covering, the hull. If you examine the seeds under the feeder you may see that it is mostly the two inedible halves of the hull that have been tossed on the ground.
Sunflower seeds are the easiest type of birdseed to grow. You can plant seeds directly from your birdseed supply or purchase different varieties of sunflower seeds from nurseries and gardening centers (take care to purchase flower types noted for producing abundant seeds, as some hybrids do not).
Also, because Nyjer is related to thistle and could germinate into noxious weeds, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires it to be heat-sterilized before sale. If it is heated at too high a temperature or for too long, those essential oils might be dried before the seed is even packaged.
Nyjer thistle is a small black seed favored by birds such as finches, juncos and pine siskins. Quality nyjer thistle is typically heated so it won’t sprout. If a few plants do sprout, they rarely grow to a mature plant in North America.
Plastic tree guard around and under the bird feeder area. It’s really that simple. Just lay the tree ring down around the bird feeder area. If using landscape fabric, cut a round piece of it and place it around the bird feeder area.
Sprouted or germinating seeds presents the simplest method of providing your birds with fresh greens. They are a healthy food addition for all birds, but are absolute necessity for the feeding hen and for the newly weaned young.
Nyjer seed from bird seed is heat-treated to prevent germination before export. About 80 percent of the seeds are rendered incapable of germination through this method, but the remaining 20 percent will sprout. The plant produces an abundance of yellow flowers, and each flower head contains 30 to 40 seeds.
Squirrels, grackles, & starlings don’t eat safflower!
There is a food that exists that your favorite songbirds will readily eat but the pesky squirrels and obnoxious blackbirds should not touch! Safflower seed is an excellent food to use in a feeder that you can’t seem to stop squirrels from jumping on.
Grackles and starlings prefer bread, corn, millet, wheat and sunflower seeds. To get rid of them, supply food they don’t like, such as thistle and nyjer seed loved by finches or safflower seeds enjoyed by cardinals, chickadees and nuthatches.
Squirrels and bully birds may ignore safflower seed, but many beloved songbirds will still come to your feeders.
Even the hungriest robin doesn’t normally eat birdseed. Robins can’t digest seeds, and their beaks are not built for cracking. However, a very smart, very hungry robin that has observed other birds at feeders can learn to try birdseed! Instead, you could buy mealworms at a pet store for your hungry winter robins.
Yes, you can throw bird seed out on the ground. Many birds will eat seed on the ground. But it could become messy, attract pests, and harm the birds if not done with some planning and forethought.
Seed will stay fresh if it is eaten more quickly so it does not spoil. Birds typically avoid spoiled seed, which could be toxic if ingested. A lively, active feeding station with full feeders will attract more birds.
Black sunflower seeds may grow if you plant them in the ground and provide the right conditions – they turn into lovely multi-headed sunflowers. Sunflower hearts and heart chips have had their seed husk removed so will therefore never grow.
You can leave them right in the flowerbed. To be proactive, gather a few of the ripened seedpods and harvest the seeds. Scatter these seeds wherever you want new plants next year. Many wildflower growers simply wait for the entire bed to go to seed and mow them down, scattering the ripe seeds.
Black oil sunflower seeds can also be dried and used as healthy snacks full of vitamins E and B6. Best of all, black oil sunflower seeds are easy to plant and grow.
No, it shouldn’t sprout as the husk has been removed. I believe hearts are included in most ’non sprouting’ mixes.
Nyjer seed is NOT thistle. The seed is not derived from any native or non-native thistle plant; but instead, the Nyjer seed is actually derived from a plant in the same plant tribe as sunflowers. The seed resembles a sunflower seed but is significantly smaller.