Wild Bird Seed - sunflower seeds
The sunflower is an impressive giant plant with a huge magnificent flower. Once the flower has finished blooming, the head fills with seeds, each one a juicy morsal packed with oily goodness for wild birds.
Sunflower seeds are a high energy food which provides a lot of the nutrients many birds need and like. Most seed-eaters prefer sunflower seeds to other seeds.
You can grow your own sunflowers from a small packet of seeds available from flower seed suppliers or your local gardening shop or supermarket. Look for those with black seeds [oilseed] from which commercial sunflower oil is made, rather than the striped variety [non-oilseed] which are grown for confectionary and cooking. If planted at the right time of year, around September you will have your own supply of sunflower seeds waiting for wild birds to come and feed. They can feed off the seed heads which will usually hang down thus giving the seeds shelter from rain, and a protected place for the birds to feed. So once they have flowered, don't cut them down, just leave them until the birds have had all the seeds, at which point they can be put on the compost.
Sunflowers are grown as either single bloom plants which have a large head of around 20-30 inches or sometimes more, or multi-headed varieties which are similar to the wild sunflower plant, with dozens or more small heads. Both can grow to a height of 12-15 feet, although there are now dwarf varieties available.
These black seeds are best for wild birds, being high in oil These striped seeds are low in oil, so best avoided
Sunflowers can grow very tall!