Sunflower kernels or ‘hearts’ are sunflower seeds with the shell removed. Absence of the shell means that every species that visits bird feeders can access the rich nutritional value of sunflower kernels. There is no accumulation of empty shells under feeders for the hobbyist to tend to. Because the actual food of the sunflower is exposed, it is important to offer kernels in a feeder that protects them from rain and snow.
Start feeding the birds anytime and keep feeding year round. Natural food supplies are at their lowest in the spring. Spring brings exciting migrants. Summer feeding provides nutrition during breeding and nesting season. Enjoy seeing parents bring their young to your feeders. Fall and winter feeding is especially helpful during periods of cold and snow.