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Do Squirrels Eat Safflower Seeds? (Quick Answers)

Squirrels cause a lot of problems to your bird-feeding hobby. But is there any seed that can resist the squirrels from eating the seeds?

Do squirrels eat safflower seeds? This article will explain if squirrels eat safflower seeds and if you can protect your bird feeder using safflower seeds.

Do squirrels eat safflower seeds?

Squirrels do not like safflower seeds because of their bitterness. Mixing a high ratio of safflower seeds in the bird feeder can help attract the songbirds and keep the squirrels less interested in your bird feeder. However, Safflower seeds are non-toxic to squirrels.

Keeping a bird feeder in your yard will help you attract beautiful birds and let you enjoy the sweet sound of nature. You will feel more connected with nature. But things do not stay that easy if there are squirrels in your locality.

Squirrels can come in a group and empty your bird feeder in a few hours. It’s super frustrating having to fill up the birdfeeder every day where birds are not getting the food you are offering them because of the squirrels. So, how can you stop this?

Keeping safflower seeds in the bird feeder prevents squirrels from eating food from the bird feeder. Squirrels tend to avoid safflower seeds most of the time as those are bitter to the mammal tongue.

Like humans, squirrels also love or avoid some foods because of their taste. They simply dislike the safflower seeds for their bitter taste. Although they are hungry or in a survival condition, they can eat safflower seeds but not as comfortably as the sunflower seeds.

Luckily, birds do not have many issues with safflower seeds. However, they will usually choose sunflower seeds over safflower seeds. But that does not make the birds less attracted to your backyard. They will come to your backyard and eat the seeds naturally.

When you keep safflower seeds in the bird feeder, you will have to fill the bird feeder less often, as only birds will eat the seeds, not the squirrels. Interestingly, bully birds that make noise in your backyard will also be less attracted to your bird feeders. The actual reason is still unknown.

So, as you can see, keeping safflower seeds in your birdfeeder filters the species you want to feed. Why do birds not have any issue with the safflower seed? The reason can be that birds have less developed tasting organs and can not taste things like a mammal does.

That’s why papers can be used as rodent repellents, but some birds love eating red hot chillis. There is some squirrel-resistant bird feeder on the market, but squirrels are very smart and acrobatic.

If you use safflower seeds in a squirrel-resistant bird feeder, you can make maximum protection against the squirrels.

There are different species of squirrels and different food habits, so do all types of squirrels dislike sunflower seeds? Follow the next points to know.

Flying squirrels:

Flying squirrels do not like safflower seeds. They like sunflower seeds and can eat seeds from even some squirrel-proof bird feeders.

Ground squirrels:

Ground squirrels also not do not like safflower seeds. They tend to ignore the bird feeders with safflower seeds.

Red squirrels:

Due to bitterness, red squirrels do not prefer safflower seeds. However, there are some stories about red squirrels eating safflowers seeds. So, it’s not that super rare.

Do squirrels like golden safflower seeds?

Squirrels do not like golden safflower seeds. Like other safflower seeds, golden safflower seeds are bitter, so squirrels do not like eating them.

Squirrels have strong and developed sensory organs, which allow them to smell from very far and their taste buds are also very sensitive.

So, when they eat something bitter, they will feel more bitterness in their mouth, which is very unpleasant. Golden safflower seeds are not much different from regular safflower seeds.

The fact is, safflower seeds and sunflower seeds look similar. The birds and squirrels will not know the difference before they start eating. So, keeping safflower seeds in your bird feeder can solve your squirrel problem easily.

However, safflower seeds are a bit more expensive than sunflower seeds, so you will have to spend a bit more while buying them. Although the squirrels will not mess with your bird feeder, it will help you save more money as you will have to fill it less often.

Let’s discuss from a different perspective if you have a pet squirrel. Can you feed the squirrel with safflower seeds? Is it non-toxic for them? Yes, safflower seeds are non-toxic to squirrels, but you will not be able to provide the seeds to your pet squirrels.

Note that even sunflower seeds are also not a super healthy food for squirrels. They should not eat sunflower seeds regularly. Sunflower seeds have a high amount of phosphorus and significantly less calcium.

When phosphorus is more than calcium in squirrel’s food, the phosphorus binds with the calcium and leads to metabolic bone disease. Only 5-8 percent of squirrels’ diets should consist of seeds and food that have high phosphorus and low calcium.

In comparison, sunflower seeds have more fat content than safflower seeds, so birds tend to choose sunflower seeds over safflower seeds.

Why don’t squirrels like safflower seeds?

Squirrels are not super picky eaters, but when it comes to the bitter taste, they try to avoid it. Check out the points below about why squirrels do not like safflower seeds.

Bitter taste:

Like humans and other animals, squirrels do not like the bitter taste. Safflower seeds are bitter, and that’s why it’s not on their food list. Many plants developed bitter leaves, seeds, and other parts to protect them from herbivores.

The bitter taste is a sign of toxicity:

In the wild, animals tend to avoid things that taste bitter because bitterness is a common sign of toxicity. However, safflower seeds are bitter but not toxic at all. But squirrels still avoid eating the seeds.

What kind of birdseed do squirrels not like?

Safflower and nyjer seeds are bitter and commonly used to make the squirrels less attracted to the bird feeder. There are a lot of other seeds that squirrels do not like, but we need to find the seeds that squirrels do not like and birds like.

Safflower and nyjer seeds fulfill that criteria very well, so they can be a good option for your bird feeder if you aim to keep the squirrels away from the bird feeder.

You can also keep some canine papers in the bird feeder to keep the squirrels away. You can also use canine paper to protect the bird feeding area.

Who eats safflower seeds?

Most of the birds that visit the backyard bird feeder eat safflower seeds. Here is a list of birds that eats safflower seeds.

Black-capped chickadees:

Black-capped chickadees are beautiful songbird that eats safflower seeds. They will surely enhance the beauty of your backyard.

Carolina chickadees:

Carolina chickadees have longer tails than black-capped ones and eat safflower seeds delightfully. They also eat various fruits, insects, and seeds.

Indigo buntings:

Blue is a rare color in the wild, but blue Indigo buntings are not rare. They eat safflower seeds and bring color to your backyard.

Rose-breasted grosbeaks:

Rose-breasted grosbeaks have red, black, and white colored feathers. They are one of the prettiest birds that can visit your backyard. They also eat safflower seeds.

Downy woodpeckers:

Downy woodpeckers are one of the smallest wood packers in North America. They eat safflower seeds.

Blue jays:

Blue jays eat safflower seeds, and a birdfeeder easily attracts them.

Final Thoughts

Squirrels do not eat safflower seeds if there is an alternative food source. They don’t like the bitter taste of the safflower seeds. And usually, there are other better food options than the safflower seeds for the squirrels in the wild. Safflower seeds make them less interested in birdfeeders.