How To Use Sunflower Heads To Feed Birds

Kids Feeding Birds with Sunflower Seeds

How To Use Sunflower Heads To Feed Birds-a-bird-eating-sunflower-seeds
A bird eating sunflower seeds

A great activity that’s both fun and educational is having kids feed birds with sunflower seeds, growing and harvesting sunflower seeds is an inexpensive and easy way to provide seeds for wildlife. Providing sunflower seeds will make your garden inviting getting the attention of birds and other wildlife which is a great offer they can’t refuse.

The interaction of birds and kids can be a rewarding experience for them as they help nature by giving a helping hand, as a child one of my favorite activity was bird feeding so I am sure your kids will find this activity to be fun-filled.

Harvesting Sunflower Seed Heads

Once the sunflower heads have reached maturity or are well formed and start to dry, remove the top 1/4 of the plant’s stalk and place them in a cool spot that’s ventilated so that the stalk and the flowers can dry. After a few weeks check the flower head, signs that the flower heads are dry is when the front of the head is crispy brown followed by the back of the flower head turning a  yellow color.

Now that the sunflower heads are dried or cured remove the remaining stem from the flower, next make a few holes near the top of the flower heads followed by threading florist wire through them. The flower heads can now be hung from a tree branch or a fence for birds to begin to feed.

Step to Hanging Sunflower Seed Heads

Sunflower Seed Heads

Step 1. Once your flower heads are dry, Place them in a cool spot that’s well-ventilated, this will discourage mold. Allow the heads to dry until the heads turn brown and the backs turn yellow.

Step 2.  Once your flower heads are dried and discolored, remove the heads followed by making a few holes in the head of each flower using s screwdriver 2-3 cm apart.

Step 3. Now place the flower heads back to back so that the seeds can be faced or be turned outward, insert the floral wire through the two left-hand holes, and bring it back through the two right-handed holes. Twist the wires together followed by making a loop at the end of the wire that will allow the sunflower to hang. Congratulations your flower seed heads are complete now it’s time to hang the flower heads from a tree branch or fence for your feathered friends to enjoy.


What Wildlife to Sunflower Seeds Attracts?

Additional information

1. While the flower heads are drying you may consider covering the mature flower heads with a paper bag, cheesecloth, or netting material to keep birds away until the flower heads are completely dried. Don’t use plastic bags because a plastic bag will encourage moisture causing the seeds to rot which will discourage birds or cause them to be uninterested. This buildup of moisture can also increase the risk of fungus or mold that is dangerous to a bird’s health if they decide to eat the seeds.

2. The best sunflowers to use are those that have larger heads such as, ‘Russian Mammoth’,‘Sunzilla’, or ‘Giant Gray Stripe’.

3. How to care for sunflowers

4. How to care for birds in the winter

The final word on how to use sunflower seed heads to feed birds

It’s so amazing how we can connect with nature in so many ways, nature also needs our help in helping the many wildlife, I believe that kids will find this to be most exciting as they learn about nature and how to care for nature. Who knows this activity might be the beginning of something new that might spark an interest for them to find a career in a related field that impacts our environment and our ecosystem in a positive way. So let’s get our kids involved they will thank you for it and nature will thank you for it as well.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

4 thoughts on “How To Use Sunflower Heads To Feed Birds”

  1. I can remember growing sunflowers from seeds with my boys when they were small, and they loved  watching the seeds sprout and then grow into plants and eventually flowers forming. But I never realised that the sunflower seeds are also great to attract birds to the garden.

    Your tips on drying the flowers, and preventing the seeds from going mouldy, are invaluable.

    I now have a little granddaughter, who is being homeschooled, and loves doing things in the garden with me. Planting sunflowers, and then drying them, will be a great educational exercise to do with her. Do you have an indication as to how long it might take for the seeds to dry? You mention drying them in a cool spot, but can we dry them in direct sunlight as well? Thank you

    • It will only take a few weeks just keep a check on the, you can it give a try and see what happens. Hope this helps.

  2. I recently read the article on “How to Use Sunflower Heads to Feed Birds” from Garden of Eden Garden Center, and I must say it left me thoroughly impressed. The author’s insights on utilizing sunflower heads as a natural food source for birds were not only informative but also inspiring. It’s heartwarming to learn how we can provide nourishment to our feathered friends while adding beauty to our gardens. Thank you so much for the helpful article!

    • I am so happy to help and thanks so much for your kind words. It’s so amazing what can happen when we connect with nature in a positive way.


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