(adjective) Describes a diet that consists primarily, though not exclusively, of seeds and grain. This is the primary diet for many types of birds, especially game birds, sparrows and finches. Granivorous birds can also eat other things, and many species will consume insects as a source of protein for growing chicks during the nesting season.
Granivorous birds can be a problem in agricultural areas where flocks may destroy grain crops. At the same time, depending on the exact seeds a bird may prefer, some species – such as the lesser goldfinch – are welcome because of the great quantities of weed seeds they can consume.
Granivorous birds often have specialized bills to eat their preferred seeds more efficiently. For example, larger birds may have thicker, stronger bills to crack the shells of larger seeds, whereas finches and crossbills have thin, tapering tips to their bills that allow them to pry seeds out of pine cones and small flowers.
To attract seed- and grain-eating birds, offer different types of birdseed in appropriate feeders, including both tube feeders and open trays that can accommodate large numbers of feeding birds. For a natural food source, plant seed-bearing flowers for birds and allow the seed heads to remain on the flowers for birds to feast on during autumn and winter.
Photo – Chipping Sparrow © likeaduck
Seed-Eating, Granivore (noun)