Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.

Sunflower seeds -- the real thing

Posted by: Jim Williams under Bird feeding, Bird travels Updated: October 24, 2012 - 11:31 AM

 While in North Dakota last week I scavenged a half dozen sunflower heads, complete with seeds, from a harvested field. These were heads missed by the picker. I wish I had taken more. The finches at our feeders choose the heads first, at least this morning. We saw thousands of acres of sunflowers, about half harvested, in western North and South Dakota and eastern Montana. North Dakota had more by far. There were no birds to be seen in the unpicked fields, although flocks of thousands of Red-winged Blackbirds were seen in many places. Blackbirds are said by some growers to take up to 10 percent of black oil seeds before harvest. Horned Larks and unidentified sparrows were foraging in the debris of harvested fields. 

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