Review: Haith’s Sunflower Hearts & Feeder
If you’ve followed this blog or any of the accompanying social media accounts for a while you’ll know just how much I love watching the birds that visit my garden – I’ve even named some of the ones with more identifying features – so it should be no surprise that when I was recently contacted by Haith’s, “the family owned bird food specialists”, asking if I would like to review their bird food I jumped at the chance to give my feathered friends something new to try.
They sent out a 2kg bag of their premium quality European grown Sunflower Hearts, along with a specially designed feeder. Now before we go any further, I would like to clarify that I was sent both items for free in order to review them, but all opinions shared are my own and I only ever agree to work with companies that I feel are a good fit with this blog and whose products I believe will be of interest to my readers… You guys are important to me! Haith’s stood out to me because it’s evident that they really care about wildlife. They have specialised in providing better quality bird food to the country’s garden birds since 1937, and have been working alongside famous birder and conservationist Bill Oddie since 2000 in order to improve the standards of bird food on the market. You can’t really ask for much more than that!
I was really happy to see that there was no plastic packaging in the bag as it always saddens me to buy something from a company that appears to be environmentally friendly only to find it shipped in huge amounts of unnecessary single use plastic. One of the first things I noticed when I opened up the bag was the lack of dust… a lot of bird food that I’ve previously purchased has practically choked me with a dust cloud upon opening and that definitely wasn’t the case with this. You can even see in the photo below just how little there is – you get the sunflower hearts and nothing else.
Cleanliness is a big deal to Haith’s, and the food they sent me is SUPERCLEAN™ so as to not damage a bird’s respiratory tract. Before looking into Haith’s as a brand I’ll admit I hadn’t actually realised how damaging to birds dust could be, but since doing more research and looking into it I’ll definitely be changing up what I feed the birds from now on. I’d hate to think I was doing them damage by providing them with poor quality food. As well as being SUPERCLEAN™, Haith’s sunflower seeds are European grown from European seeds, reducing their carbon footprint as well as reducing the amount of time they spend in transit before reaching your bird table, keeping them fresher and more nutritionally valuable.
When I found out that I would be receiving the sunflower hearts I wanted to check out what advantages they had for my feathered friends, and it turns out there’s a lot! They contain oils which are perfect for helping to keep feathers in tip top condition, along with their skin and beaks. Sunflower hearts are also incredibly high in energy and protein, with a high calorie to weight ratio, meaning that the birds don’t have to eat so much to get the energy they need. Not having to remove the husk means that the birds can eat quicker, getting them out the way of any possible predators much sooner whilst ensuring that they still get plenty of food. You also won’t have a pile of discarded husks underneath your feeder, which might bother you if keeping a tidy garden is a priority! Depending on how careful your birds are, it probably won’t always just be the husks that end up on the floor, so you could also end up with a lot of waste if you opt for the cheaper black sunflower seeds.
The feeder I received is really well made, far sturdier than a lot of the ones I’ve owned in the past. Safety of the wildlife in my garden is hugely important to me, and unlike a lot of feeders on the market which have trapped birds, I can’t see anything about this one that could be unsafe providing it’s kept clean. This one features a removable base for ease of cleaning, a definite improvement on those I’ve previously owned which can be pretty cumbersome to keep hygienic due to poor design. I’m also loving the vibrant yellow, although that’s far more for me than the birds!
As expected, it took some time for the birds to get used to the new addition to the garden. They were definitely curious, but it wasn’t until day two when I actually got to see them using it. Sparrows, blackbirds and robins all came down to investigate almost as soon as the feeder was hung up, though they were reluctant to land on it at first instead circling around and studying it from all available angles. I was already expecting it to take some time, but if you’ve not previously fed the birds in your garden it’s worth noting before you assume that they hate something because they don’t immediately flock to it.
Sunflower hearts are said to be popular with a wide variety of birds, but if you’d like to try something else they have a fantastic range of bird food and feeders on their website and I’m already eyeing up some more to buy especially as we head into the winter months where food becomes scarce. I feed the birds throughout the year, as recommended by experts, usually on a bag of mixed seeds along with a meal worms as a tasty treat, but I’ll definitely be mixing that up with sunflower hearts now.
I’m pretty excited to see if a new addition to the food I put out might eventually attract some new visitors too. Our front garden is occasionally visited by goldfinches and blue tits, two of my favourite species, but they rarely visit the back garden. I’ve heard that the sunflower hearts are really popular with both so I’m hoping it will eventually help me lure them round. I’m reluctant to feed the birds in the front as it’s far more open to neighbourhood cats, so I’ve been trying to encourage them to visit the other side of the house for a while – though so far to no avail. I live in hope!
Whilst these products were sent to me to review, I won’t hesitate to purchase from Haith’s after being left really impressed with both the quality of both the food and the feeders that they stock as well as their passion for wildlife.