Do Squirrels Eat Safflower Seeds? Here’s What You Need to Know!

As someone who has spent years learning about and interacting with squirrels, I can confidently say that the answer to the question: “Do squirrels eat safflower seeds?” is yes, even if they don’t really like them much. Indeed, as a nature lover, I have seen and studied firsthand how squirrels go for safflower seeds. That’s why I’m writing this article to provide valuable insight into what you need to know about those cute little critters and their diet. So if you’re curious about whether squirrels eat safflower seeds, keep reading!

Yes, squirrels can eat safflower seeds, however, they don’t enjoy them. They generally prefer to feed on other types of seeds, nuts, fruits, flowers, fungi and insects.

What Are Safflower Seeds?

Safflower seeds are a small, edible seed that comes from the Carthage victories plant. These seeds have a wide range of uses and health benefits, as they are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. They can be added to foods as a garnish or snack, used as a seasoning in cooking, or taken as a supplement for their antioxidant properties.

The two main types of safflower seeds include white and red varieties. White safflower seeds may be referred to as “light” or “ivory” while red safflower seeds are sometimes called “dark“. Both types contain similar nutritional value, but the red variety has slightly more beneficial nutrients.

Types Of Safflower Seeds

Safflower seeds are an excellent choice for feeding birds as they have a high oil content, which is great for the birds’ health. There are two types of safflower seed: black-oil and white-oil. Black-oil safflower has a much higher fat content than its white counterpart, making it preferred amongst many varieties of songbirds. White-oil safflower is typically preferred by ground-feeding birds like doves and pigeons.

White Safflower Seeds

White safflower seeds are usually smaller than the red variety. They have a milder taste with an earthy flavor that many people find enjoyable. The white variety is often used as a topping on salads or grain dishes or mixed into muffins or breads for a nutty crunch.

Red Safflower Seeds

Red safflower seeds have bolder flavors than their white counterparts and tend to be larger. They can be roasted for use in granola, mixed into trail mixes for snacking purposes, or sprinkled on top of cakes for added texture. Red safflower seeds can also be ground into flour for baking applications.

Why Some Squirrels May Like Safflower Seeds

Some squirrels may find safflower seeds particularly appealing due to its nutritious profile and crunchy texture. Squirrels will eagerly eat both white and red varieties; however they tend to favor the latter because they contain slightly more fat. However, in some areas, squirrels may not be very interested in it as they may tend to prefer other food.

In addition to the nutritional content offered by these tasty little treats, squirrels seem to appreciate how long-lasting these snacks can be. A single stash of safflowers can serve as sustenance throughout multiple days – ensuring that during lean times, our bushy-tailed friends stay nourished.

How To Feed Squirrels Safflower Seeds

Safflower seeds are an incredibly popular food source for wild animals. These tiny seeds are filled with essential nutrients and can provide your furry friends with much-needed energy and nutrition. But, if your local squirrels like them, how can you ensure that your squirrels get the most out of their safflower seed meals? Here, we’ll discuss a few simple steps to help make sure that your backyard wildlife is properly fed.

Set Up A Feeder For Your Squirrels

The first step to feeding your wild squirrels is to set up a proper feeder. Choose one that is designed specifically for wild animals like squirrels, as it will be able to hold enough seed for several visits from these hungry critters. Make sure to place the feeder far away from other sources of food like bird feeders or compost heaps, so as not to encourage competition between species.

Position the feeder in a location where it is easy to spot but sheltered from predators like cats or hawks. Place some natural shelter nearby such as trees or shrubs, so they can quickly sneak away if needed. If possible, set up multiple feeders around your property if you have more space available.

Deterring Squirrels From Eating Birdseed

In some cases, it’s possible that your local bird population may be competing with the squirrels for their food. If this is the case, there are several strategies you can use to discourage them from consuming birdseed. One method is by using spicy seed such as hot pepper flakes or cayenne powder which makes them unappetizing to birds but harmless to squirrels. You could also try using cages or baffles around your birdfeeders in order to keep the rodents away while still allowing birds access.

Alternatives To Safflower Seeds

If you’re looking for other sources of food for your wild visitors, there are plenty of other options available aside from just safflower seeds. Some great alternatives include peanuts in their shells or sunflower seeds. You could also try making homemade suet cakes consisting of lard and nuts or dried fruit which provides an excellent source of calories and fat for wildlife.

No matter what type of food you decide to use for your local backyard wildlife, always make sure that it is kept clean and fresh in order to avoid any potential health risks or pathogen build-up.


Do woodpeckers consume safflower seeds?

Woodpeckers are generally attracted to safflower seeds and will eat them if available. Such seed-eating birds typically prefer a variety of food sources, however safflower is usually considered a good choice for woodpeckers due to its higher fat content and relative abundance.

Do Robins consume safflower seeds?

Robins like to snack on a variety of seeds, and safflower is among their favorites! The bright-colored seeds are a great source of energy for the birds. Other small seed-eating birds, such as cardinals, grosbeaks, chickadees, doves, and native sparrows have also been known to enjoy safflower seeds.

Do downy woodpeckers consume safflower seeds?

Downy woodpeckers are known to enjoy eating seeds, which may include safflower. However, since different birds have their own preferences, it is difficult to give a definitive answer. In general, many native birds like cardinals, grosbeaks, chickadees and doves will likely take to the safflower seed. Unfortunately house sparrows tend to avoid it. Therefore, if you are looking to feed downy woodpeckers’ safflower seed, you may wish to observe their behavior when provided with this food option.

What birds are known to feed on safflower seeds?

Safflower seeds are a favorite of many birds, including cardinals, grosbeaks, chickadees, doves and native sparrows. These birds naturally flock to this type of seed in garden feeders and birdbaths. By offering a variety of food to attract different types of birds, safflower is sure to be an inviting treat.

Which birds do not consume safflower seeds?

Some birds are not fond of safflower seeds, these include house sparrows, blue jays and starlings. Other bird species may show varying preference to the seed, such as ducks and robins, while others like cardinals, grosbeaks, and doves readily consume it.


So, next time you head out to your backyard to observe and enjoy nature, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the friendly squirrels! Armed with this knowledge of what they eat, you’ll definitely find yourself learning something new as you observe them. Do squirrels eat safflower seeds? Absolutely, but in some areas they may prefer other food sources.

Squirrels are amazing creatures and their diets vary greatly depending on region and availability of food. While they do enjoy snacking on safflower seeds, they also feed on a wide variety of other items. So if you want to see some happy little squirrels in action, why not try setting out some sunflower or pumpkin seeds? You might even get lucky and spot a few fungi-eating little critters among the leaves.

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