Ask Lafeber


September 30, 2022

Wild Bird Feed

We have sunflowers in our flower garden. Is it safe to put a sunflower head out for our cockatiels? If so, do we have to prepare in any special way?


Hi Tom,

I’m inclined to say don’t offer this. Sunflower seeds are not particularly nutritious, but as a very rare treat, they are OK. But I do know there are different varieties of sunflowers, and I’m not sure if all parts of the plant or head are safe. It does sound like an interesting foraging activity. If I can find out more about the safety, I’ll post an update. The other concern is anything that may have been used on the soil or the plant, such as pesticides or fertilizers and plant food. Also, something like that can have insects in it, and possibly parasites that fell off wild birds and are anxious to find another bird host.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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