Nuthatch feeding on seeds at a bird feeder.

15 Birds That Eat Safflower Seeds: The Ultimate Guide!

Unlock the secrets of safflower seed-loving birds with our comprehensive guide featuring 15 avian species! From the colorful Northern Cardinal to the agile House Finch, these birds have a penchant for safflower seeds, making them popular visitors to backyard feeders.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore the unique characteristics, feeding habits, and behaviors of each species, providing valuable insights for bird enthusiasts and backyard birdwatchers.

Birds That Eat Safflower Seeds

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee perched on a tree.
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

Black-capped Chickadees are an abundant bird species in North America. These birds feed on a variety of seeds, but one of their favorites is safflower seeds.

Safflower seeds contain high levels of fat and protein, which make them highly nutritious for the chickadees. When people put out safflower seed feeders to attract these small birds, they often get more than they bargained for!

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Blue Jay

Blue Jay perched on a tree.
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

The Blue Jay is a beautiful and cheerful blue bird that can be found in many habitats throughout North America. They can be seen throughout the year feeding on seeds from natural sources such as grasses and berries and insects.

Blue Jays also frequent feeders to eat safflower seeds, which is used to deter squirrels. The birds consume these seeds at an alarming rate, so it’s important that they keep up with their seed intake!

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Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadee perched on a tree.
Photo by Aaron J Hill from Pexels

Carolina Chickadees are a species of songbird native to the eastern United States. Carolina Chickadee will occasionally eat safflower seeds.

However, there are other foods in their diet, including insects and spiders. They also feed on fruit, nectar, grains and nuts which provide them with enough nutrients to live healthy lives.

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Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpeckers are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and plants. They often eat suet in the winter time, but their diet changes with the seasons. In the summer, Downy Woodpeckers love to feast on caterpillars, beetles, ants, larvae, as well as fruit like berries, and cherries.

During late fall and early winter, Downy Woodpeckers will consume safflower seeds. They will visit tube feeders to get their fill of safflower seeds, and they’ll store the food in bark crevices or near roosting spots.

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Evening Grosbeak

Evening Grosbeaks are seed-eating birds that inhabit much of North America. These birds can be found in groups or solitary, regularly feeding on seeds.

The Evening Grosbeak is a common visitor to bird feeders, especially during the winter months, when food becomes scarce for these small but hearty songbirds. The safflower seed is an evening grosbeak’s favorite meal, and they will travel long distances just to get their fill.

House Finch

House Finch perched on a tree branch.
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

House Finches are a very common and popular bird in North America. The range of house finches extends from Southern Canada to the northern United States and Mexico all the way down to Panama.

These birds typically live in parks, gardens, orchards, farms, suburban areas with tall trees. House finches feed on a variety of different seeds and will visit feeders for safflower seeds.

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Indigo Bunting

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

The Indigo Bunting is a small bird with vibrant blue feathers. These birds are can be found in North America, ranging from the southern United States to Canada. They inhabit many habitats including woods, farmland, and brushy areas near water sources.

The diet of an Indigo Bunting consists mainly of insects, but they also eat grains, berries, nuts, and seeds of plants like milkweed and safflower seeds when they can find them. 

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Mourning Dove

A Mourning Dove perched on the roof of a bird feeder.
Image by GeorgiaLens from Pixabay

Mourning doves are medium-sized birds that have a wide range and varied habitats. They are found throughout the United States, in Canada, Central America, and South America.

Mourning doves live in many types of environments including forests, wetlands, prairies and agricultural fields. Mourning doves eat insects such as grasshoppers, beetles and flies, but they also feed on seeds from plants like safflower seeds or weed seeds when they are available.

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Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal perched on a tree.
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

The Northern Cardinal is a bird that is found in the Eastern United States and Canada. Its range covers most of the eastern half of North America, and they are also found as far west as central Texas.

They live in woodlands, thickets, shrubby areas and even suburban yards.  The Northern Cardinal’s diet consists of nuts, fruits, berries, seeds that are usually available in its habitat, such as sunflower seeds and safflower seeds.

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Purple Finch

Purple finches are medium-sized songbirds that live in North America. They can be found year-round throughout the US and Canada, but they migrate to Mexico for the winter. Their habitat includes parks, gardens, backyards and woodlands. 

The purple finch’s diet consists of mostly seeds, insects, spiders and worms. This bird has also been known to eat safflower seeds if it is unable to find its usual food sources during cold weather months, when insect populations drop off dramatically.

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Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpeckers are a type of woodpecker that ranges from southern Canada to Florida and the Bahamas. They prefer living in deciduous forests, swampy areas, parks and farms with trees or scrubby bushes for food sources.

Their diet consists of insects such as ants, beetles, grasshoppers and caterpillars. They also eat safflower seeds, which are common for their food sources when the insect population has decreased due to seasonal changes.

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Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak perched on a tree.
Image by simardfrancois from Pixabay

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a beautiful, medium-sized bird with bright red and yellow plumage. They are mainly found in the eastern and Midwestern United States, Canada and southern portions of Mexico. 

These birds can be found in both deciduous and coniferous forests, along the edges of wetlands or near agricultural fields such as cornfields or sunflower patches. The grosbeaks feed on seeds from various plants including corn, millet, sunflower and safflower as well as berries and insects.

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Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse perched on a tree.
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

Tufted Titmice are a species of small songbird that is native to North America. The range habitat for Tufted Titmice is from Canada and the eastern United States, as well as parts of Mexico.

Their diet consists mainly of insects, seeds and berries. Safflower seeds make up a very small percentage of their diet, but they do eat them when available.

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White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch feeding on seeds.
Image by Ray Miller from Pixabay

The White-breasted Nuthatch is a type of bird found in North America. The population ranges from southern Canada to northern Mexico, and it’s common throughout the eastern United States. 

The White-breasted Nuthatch has one main habitat type, which are coniferous forests. They eat primarily insects, but also feed on seeds from trees such as safflower and juniper berries. 

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House Sparrow

House Sparrow perched on a tree branch.
Image by Wolfgang Zimmel from Pixabay

The House Sparrow is one of the most common birds in North America. They are usually found in urban areas and near farms, but their range can be seen throughout much of North America. Their diet consists mainly of grains, seeds, fruits and insects that they find on the ground or in trees.

House sparrows also eat safflower seeds when available. House sparrows are very adaptable to many habitats including urban environments, rural farmlands and wooded forests.

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  • Vince S

    Meet Vince, the passionate founder and author of Learn Bird Watching, boasting 30 years of birding experience. With an unwavering mission to empower fellow bird enthusiasts, Vince shares invaluable wisdom and guidance. As a dedicated moderator and contributor to Quora's Bird Watchers' Club, he actively engages with the birding community, where his insightful answers have garnered over 440,000 views and over 2,670 upvotes. Whether you're a budding birder or a seasoned avian aficionado, his wealth of knowledge is at your service.

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