Golden Safflower

Posted on January 14th, 2009 – 11:25 AM
By Jim Williams

 golden-safflower.jpgI’m convinced. Yesterday I wrote about a new variety of safflower seed called golden safflower. It has a thinner shell and is more nutritious. A friend tried it, telling me her birds strongly preferred it to ordinary safflower. I bought some golden safflower late yesterday. We have two small tray feeders attached to a patio door with suction cups. We fill the trays with sunflower chips (no shells). I put meal worms in one of the trays most mornings. The chickadees eat the meal worms first, then feed on sunflower seeds. This has been going on for months. Today I filled one tray with golden safflower. Take your choice: your familiar sunflower seeds on the right, golden safflower seeds you have never before seen (at least not here) on the left. When the chickadees arrived this morning they cleaned up the worms, and then immediately and without hesitation began taking golden safflower seeds, sometimes two at a time. Smart guys. We have one tube feeder filled with safflower hanging in the feeder array in the backyard. We have always used the white safflower. Cardinals eat it, but neither much nor quickly. That feeder now holds golden safflower. Let’s see what happens. The new safflower I bought, by the way, cost no more than the old: $21.99 for 20 pounds. (In the photo: regular safflower front left, golden safflower front right, sunflower chips to the rear.)

2 Responses to "Golden Safflower"


January 15th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

I have been under the impression for some time that the whiter and brighter safflower seed is the more acceptable it is to the avian species.
Could it be that the Golden Safflower with the thinner shell would allow the oil that is in the safflower seed to leach through more easily than a thicker shelled type? Thus, making the oil more “redily available” to the bird?
Where can the Golden Safflower be purchased?

Jim Williams says:

January 15th, 2009 at 1:10 pm


I have found the golden safflower at both Wild Birds Unlimited and All Seasons Wild Bird stores. I suspect it is widely available at birding specialty stores.