About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Will Safflower seed keep squirrels and chipmunks off my bird feeder?

Safflower is a small, white seed that is high in protein and fat. People use the oil expressed from Safflower seeds primarily as a cooking oil, in salad dressing, and for the production of margarine. However in recent years, it has also become popular in wild bird feeding.

Feeding Safflower has become the solution to attracting specific birds to your feeder and repelling others. The shape of the shell and the bitter taste makes this seed unattractive to blackbirds and mammals like squirrels.

While popular backyard birds including Cardinals, Chickadees, Blue Jays, House Finches, Mourning Doves, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmice, and Nuthatches, savor safflower.
However, unlike squirrels, Chipmunks will stuff their cheeks with safflower seeds. So in areas where they are a problem, safflower should be offered with the same baffles that are used to keep squirrels off feeders or have patience with them until they start to hibernate.

I have never seen a chipmunk actually eat the seed. I imagine them taking it home and fashioning a nice bean bag chair for their long winter nap. Or else it's a big disappointment when they discover the summer bounty they collected tastes like...




1 comment:

Tina Coruth said...

Thank you for the information! Very interesting.