While it may seem that any type of sunflower seed will be a good treat for hungry birds, certain types of seeds, including roasted seeds, are a bad choice that you should avoid.
Roasted Sunflower Seeds
Roasted sunflower seeds have high levels of salt, and salt is unhealthy for birds. Even if roasted sunflower seeds aren't salted, the seeds may be processed in ways that are unhealthy for birds.
Black Oil Seeds
Feeders filled with black oil sunflower seeds will often attract birds. The seeds are filled with nutrients that keeps birds satisfied all year and sustains them through the winter. The oil in black oil seeds maintains healthy feathers.
Striped seeds are less expensive than black oil seeds. Striped seeds are also larger, and the hard shells are more difficult for many birds to crack. Some birds will bypass a feeder filled with striped seeds.
While hulled sunflower seeds are expensive, the seeds eliminate the mess that shelled seeds leave on the ground under bird feeders. Shelled seeds are especially messy when the bird feeder hangs over a patio or deck.
About the Author
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.