Eurasian Bullfinch feeding on dandelion seeds

14 Birds That Eat Dandelion Seeds (Photos, ID & Info)

In spring, it is not uncommon to see white fluffy balls of down floating through the air. These are dandelion seeds being dispersed by the wind and blown from their stem. In this article, we will explore the 14 birds that eat dandelion seeds.

There are a variety of bird species in North America, and all of them have their own unique eating habits. Some eat bugs exclusively, while others feast on fruits and berries. However, one particular food is quite popular among many types of birds: dandelion seeds! 

Pine Siskin

The Pine Siskin is a small songbird that can be found in North America. They are often found in the forests where they eat insects, seeds, fruit and other plant material. They also eat dandelion seeds which they extract from the fluff on the flower head by pecking at it with their beaks. ​​​​​​​

  • Length: 4.3-5.5 in (11-14 cm)​​​​​​
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz (12-18 g)​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 7.1-8.7 in (18-22 cm)

Indigo Bunting

indigo bunting perched on a wooden post.
Image by Israel Alapag from Pixabay

The Indigo Bunting is a small songbird that lives in North America that loves to eat dandelion seeds. They will often feed on the seeds in the springtime, when they are most plentiful. It can be hard for them to find food in this time of year because it’s usually cold and not many plants have grown yet. The little birds must wait until their favorite plants come back up again before they can start eating all day long!

  • Length: 4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz (12-18 g) 
  • Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)

Related Post: How to Attract Indigo Bunting to your yard?

Pine Grosbeak

pine grosbeak on a tree branch
Image by simardfrancois from Pixabay

Grosbeaks are often found eating dandelion seeds. They eat them by pecking off the seed heads and feeding on the seed within.  Dandelions are a favorite food of these birds, but they don’t stop there. They’ll also eat fruit like cherries, grapes, and apples; insects like grasshoppers and crickets; and even bird eggs!

  • Length: 9.3 – 10.0 in. (23 – 25.4 cm)
  • Weight: 1.8 to 2.8 oz. (52 to 78 g​​​​​​​)
  • Wingspan: 12.0-13.0 in. (30.5-33.0 cm)

Common Redpoll

common redpoll on a tree branch
Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay

Common Redpolls are a migratory bird species, typically residing in Canada and northern parts of the United States. These birds are often seen eating dandelion seeds. They are attracted to the yellow flowers, which turn into fluffy white balls when they are pollinated by insects. When it is time for them to eat, these small birds will find a patch of dandelion plants and feast on the seeds. 

  • Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz (11-20 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)​​​​​​​

American Goldfinch

american goldfinch on a fence
Image by Miles Moody from Pixabay

The American Goldfinch is a small, common bird in North America, that love to feed on dandelion seeds. The average goldfinch will eat about 2000 of these tiny seeds per day. They are often seen picking them up from the ground or out of lawns. They also use their beaks to dig for buried seeds in dirt patches.

  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz (11-20 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)​​​​​​​

Related Post: Interesting American Goldfinch Facts

Eurasian Bullfinch

Eurasian bullfinch on fence
Image by TheOtherKev from Pixabay

The Eurasian Bullfinch is a small passerine bird in the finch family. They are found throughout Europe, and parts of Asia, where they feed on seeds, fruits and insects. Their population has been declining for decades due to loss of habitat, food sources and changes in climate. Dandelion is an important part of their diet during the breeding season when there are not many other foods available for them to eat. ​​​​​​​

  • Length: 5.9-6.7 in.(15-17 cm​​​​​​​)
  • Weight: 0.7-0.8 in.(21-23 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.3-9.8 in.(21-25 cm​​​​​​​)

Common Linnet

Common Linnet foraging on the ground
Image by Kathy Büscher from Pixabay

Common Linnets are a small songbird in the finch family, that can be found in Europe, Palearctic, North Africa and Asia. Common Linnets eat many types of weed, which they feed on for protein to help them build their feathers. The most common weeds that they will consume are dandelions. It has also been found to feed on thistles, daisies, sunflower seeds, burdock, sorrel and plantains. The linnet’s diet may change seasonally depending on what food is available.

  • Length: 5.3-5.5 in.(13.5-14.0 cm​​​​​​​)
  • Weight: 0.5-0.9 in.(15-26 g​​​​​​​)
  • Wingspan: 8.3-10.0 in.(21.0-25.5 cm)

White-crowned Sparrow

white-crowned sparrow perched on a pine tree
Image by Kara Skye from Pixabay

White-crowned Sparrows are songbirds, they like to eat dandelion seeds. These birds live in the North America, and can be found all over Canada and parts of the United States. These birds usually feed on insects, but it turns out that these birds also enjoy eating the dandelion seeds. They make up a large part of their diet when the food is scarce, and they’re always looking for a snack while they’re traveling through your yard.

  • Length: 5.9-6.3 in (15-16 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 0.9-1.0 oz (25-28 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 8.3-9.4 in (21-24 cm)​​​​​​​

House Sparrow

house sparrow perched a tree branch
Image by Marian van der from Pixabay

Dandelion seeds are an excellent source of food for house sparrows. Dandelion seeds contain lots of vitamins and minerals that help with digestion, which is why they make such a good meal for birds. House sparrows will eat the whole seed: the inside, called the endosperm, as well as the hull or shell around it. House sparrows usually store these extra seeds in their crops (a section of their stomach) before swallowing them to digest later.

  • Length: 5.9-6.7 in (15-17 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 0.9-1.1 oz (27-30 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 7.5-9.8 in (19-25 cm)​​​​​​​

Related Post: How to Attract Sparrows to your yard?

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrows are common in North America and typically live in open areas such as grasslands or meadows. Chipping Sparrows often use a simple technique called “bouncing” when they hunt for food – by hopping from one perch to another until they find what they’re looking for. Dandelion seeds may be a favored food of the Chipping Sparrow, but they will also eat a variety of other seeds and insects. 

  • Length: 4.7-5.9 in (12-15 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz (11-16 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 8.3 in (21 cm)​​​​​​​

Northern Bobwhite Quail

Dandelion seeds are an important part of the diet for Northern Bobwhite Quail. They rely on dandelions as a food source when other foods such as berries and insects are scarce. The nutritional value of dandelion seeds for the northern bobwhite quail is substantial. The benefits include high levels of protein and unsaturated fats, which can be used as sources of energy for survival during times when their normal diet is not available.

  • Length: 9.4 to 11.0 in​​​​​​​. (24-28 cm)
  • Weight: 4.9-6.0 oz​​​​​​​ (140 to 170 g​​​​​​​)
  • Wingspan: 13.0-15.0 in​​​​​​​. (33-38 cm​​​​​​​)

Related Post: How to Attract Quail to your yard?

Ruffed Grouse

ruffed grouse on a wooden fence
Image by Alain Audet from Pixabay

Ruffed Grouse eat these seeds during breeding season, when food is scarce, and they need the extra energy to build nests and mate. Most of their diet consists of insects, worms, fruits, and plants. When they are not mating or building nests they eat grasses like wheatgrass, corn fields where it is allowed, soybeans fields that haven’t been harvested yet. A study found that on average, Ruffed Grouse consumed 10% of seeds out of what would be their typical diet.

  • Length: 16.0-19.7 in (40.6-50 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 16.0-26.5 oz (453.6-751.3 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 19.5-25.5 in​​​​​​​ (49.5-64.8 cm)​​​​​​​

Wild Turkey

Wild turkeys have a very diverse diet. They eat acorns, grasses, berries, mushrooms and other plants in addition to insects and earthworms. One item that is on their menu that many people may not know about is dandelion seeds. It’s been found that wild turkeys will forage for the seed heads of the dandelion plant when they are in season from April through June. 

  • Length: 43.0-45.5 in (109.2-115.6 cm)​​​​​​​
  • Weight: 88.0-381.0 oz (2500-10800 g)​​​​​​​
  • Wingspan: 49.0-57.0 in (124-144.8 cm)​​​​​​​