Do birds eat bachelor button seeds?

Answered by Robert Dupre

Birds do eat bachelor button seeds. Bachelor buttons, also known as cornflowers or Centaurea cyanus, are not only visually appealing with their vibrant blue color, but they also provide a valuable food source for birds. This plant has long been recognized for its ability to attract bees and butterflies with its nectar-rich flowers. However, it is not just insects that benefit from bachelor buttons; birds also find these seeds quite tasty.

One of the main bird species that feed on bachelor button seeds is the house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus). House finches are small songbirds that are commonly found in North America. They have a varied diet that includes seeds, berries, and insects. When the flowers of the bachelor button plant start to fade, the seeds develop and become available for birds to consume. House finches, with their strong beaks, are able to crack open the seedheads and enjoy the nutritious seeds inside.

Goldfinches (Spinus spp.) are another bird species that are known to eat bachelor button seeds. American goldfinches (Spinus tristis) and lesser goldfinches (Spinus psaltria) are particularly fond of these seeds. These small, brightly colored birds are often seen perched on the seedheads, plucking the seeds out with their slender beaks. Bachelor button seeds provide a valuable source of energy for goldfinches, especially during the winter months when other food sources may be scarce.

Other bird species that may feed on bachelor button seeds include sparrows, towhees, and juncos. These birds also have a preference for seeds and will readily take advantage of the food supply provided by bachelor buttons.

In my personal experience, I have observed goldfinches and house finches feeding on bachelor button seeds in my own backyard. I have a small patch of these flowers, and it is always a delight to see the birds flocking to them. The vibrant blue petals of the bachelor buttons attract a wide variety of pollinators, and I often see bees and butterflies visiting the flowers as well. As the seeds develop, the birds gradually shift their focus to feasting on them. It is a wonderful sight to witness these beautiful birds enjoying the natural bounty provided by the bachelor button plant.

To summarize, bachelor button seeds are indeed a food source for birds. House finches, goldfinches, and other seed-loving bird species find these seeds to be a valuable source of energy. By planting bachelor buttons in your garden or providing them as a food source, you can attract and support a diverse range of bird species while adding beauty to your outdoor space.