What Birds Eat Safflower Seeds?

Safflowers, also known as false saffron or saffron thisle, is an annual flower similar to common thistle. Native to India and Iran, this flower also grows well in North America. Many birdwatching enthusiasts cultivate safflower for its seeds, which are an excellent food source for many American songbirds. Safflower seeds are also available for purchase at quality birding supply stores. These seeds are well adapted for any bird feeder recommended for sunflower seeds. Safflower feeding attracts many songbirds, but larger, aggressive birds and squirrels generally avoid the seeds.


Chickadees are commonly found dining on safflower seeds in backyards throughout Eastern America.

The Northern Cardinal is perhaps one of the most recognizable birds in the Eastern United States. This large songbird is often identified by the bright red coat of the adult male; females feature brown coats but have red accents. The cardinal typically does not migrate, according to the Cornell Lab of Orinthology's All About Birds website. The cardinal's ack of migration makes it especially important for homeowners to provide adequate food throughout the winter. Cardinals enjoy safflower seeds and will be attracted to a safflower seed feeder. Use a platform-style feeder for cardinals, suggests the Wildlife Porch website.


The black-capped chickadee is another easily recognized songbird known for its black head, black throat, white face and grayish-brown body. Many people enjoy seeing chickadees flitting throughout the yard because of their inquisitive natures, according to the All About Birds website. Chickadees, like cardinals, commonly dine from feeders filled with safflower seeds. Any songbird feeder is appropriate for attracting black-capped chickadees.


The tufted titmouse lives primarily in deciduous tree forests throughout the United States. This small gray bird prepares for the cold weather by storing up food throughout the autumn, according to the All About Birds website. Titmice like safflower seeds and will take seeds one at a time from the feeder and place them in their hiding spots. Most often, titmice shell seeds prior to placing them in winter storage.

Downy Woodpeckers

Downy woodpeckers make homes in virtually every state in America. These acrobatic birds often delight bird watchers with their ability to climb, twist and gather seeds in a seemingly impossible manner. Downy woodpeckers are identifiable by their black-and-white-checked pattern and red cap. These birds are smaller versions of the classic woodpecker with a chisel-like bill. The downy woodpecker is a common backyard bird, especially in areas with woody shrubs and trees. Like the tufted titmouse, downy woodpeckers will eat safflower seeds from virtually any type of bird feeder.