Do Safflower Seeds Deter Squirrels?
Squirrels and bully birds may ignore safflower seed, but many beloved songbirds will still come to your feeders.
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Almost anyone with backyard bird feeders has had squirrel problems at one time or another. One hungry squirrel can clean out a feeder faster than you can say “black oil sunflower seed,” and that drives bird-lovers crazy. There are plenty of feeders out there that claim to be squirrel-proof or, perhaps more honestly, “squirrel-resistant.” But squirrels are creative acrobats and they love to eat sunflower seeds. In my Florida yard, I’ve made the switch to safflower seed to deter squirrels. Safflower seed is slightly more expensive, but the squirrels in my neighborhood are completely uninterested in eating it.
Discover how to tell 5 types of squirrels apart.
Now, I can’t promise this solution will work for everyone. Apparently squirrels in some areas think safflower seed is quite delicious, but for me it’s been very effective. Plenty of birds still enjoy eating safflower seed, and I save a lot of money by not needing to refill my feeders nearly as often.
Psst—here’s what to feed squirrels (and how to peacefully co-exist).
Birds That Eat Safflower Seed
- Blue Jay
- Northern Cardinal
- Mourning Dove
- Tufted Titmouse
- Downy Woodpecker
- Purple Finch
- Yellow-Rumped Warbler
- Red-Bellied Woodpecker