Can Birds eat Sesame Seeds? (Yes, but…)

Birds are curious creatures that enjoy a variety of foods, but sesame seeds can be a tricky snack to give them. From parakeets to wild birds, it’s essential to understand: Can birds eat sesame seeds? Not all species can eat sesame seeds safely; some may even suffer from digestive issues if they ingest too many.

There is a consensus that the consumption of sesame seeds can potentially provide beneficial nutrients to birds, but its ability to do so in moderation is paramount. This article provides an overview of the dos and don’ts when feeding birds sesame seeds.

Can Birds Eat Sesame Seeds?

Yes, birds can indeed eat sesame seeds! Sesame seeds are a nutritious option for our feathered friends and can be a great addition to their diet. Besides being rich in healthy fats and protein, sesame seeds contain essential minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. These nutrients are important for the overall health and well-being of birds.

Can Birds eat Sesame Seeds?

Which Birds eat Sesame Seeds?

Several species of birds eat sesame seeds or like the flavor. Parrots, lovebirds, and cockatiels enjoy munching on these tiny treats. Certain species of finches also love this type of seed. Some quails, doves, pigeons, and even cardinals may also consume them. Many other species of wild birds, such as sparrows, will often seek out sesame seeds when they come across them.

Are Sesame Seeds Good for Birds?

Yes, Sesame seeds are an excellent source of nutrients for birds. They contain plenty of protein and healthy fats to give birds the energy they need to stay healthy and active throughout the day. Sesame seeds also contain minerals like calcium and phosphorus, aiding overall health and development. Plus, they have a great taste that most birds enjoy!

Sesame seeds contain high amounts of fat and protein, which can benefit birds. These micronutrients are essential to maintaining a healthy diet due to their positive effects on heart health, brain development, and overall immunity. In addition to these benefits, sesame seeds contain essential minerals like zinc, iron, and magnesium.

Can Birds eat Sesame Seeds?

Do Birds eat Salted Sesame Seeds?

It’s important to note that not all birds can handle an abundance of sodium in their diet. Too much salt can cause dehydration, weakness, and other health complications in some species. Therefore, moderation is vital if you choose to offer salted sesame seeds. Ensure that the snacks you serve are free from added preservatives or flavorings like garlic powder or onion powder, which can harm birds.

Can Birds Have Tahini?

Tahini is a condiment made from crushed sesame seeds and oil and contains many beneficial nutrients. Tahini has high levels of vitamins B1, B2, and E and minerals like phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium all essential nutrients that help keep birds healthy.

While birds do not typically consume tahini directly in the wild, incorporating small amounts into their diets through seed mixes or homemade treats can provide additional nutrition and enrichment opportunities for this beautiful creature. However, too much tahini can be bad for them due to its high fat content; the best way to treat your feathered friend is to mix it with other foods, such as greens or fruits.

How to Provide Sesame Seeds for Birds

Sesame seeds are a delicious, nutritious snack for birds of all sizes. Providing sesame seeds to your feathered friends can be a great way to enrich their diet and keep them healthy. Here are some tips on how to provide sesame seeds for birds so they can enjoy this tasty treat:

Feed them As a Treat

One way to offer sesame seeds to birds is by adding them to homemade bird treats or seed mixes. The small size of the seeds makes them easily consumable for most bird species. Some birds may prefer removing the outer shell before eating the sesame seed. However, it’s worth noting that some bird species might not have the inclination or ability to crack open the harder shell independently.

Planting Sesame Seeds for Birds

Sesame seeds have been cultivated as a food source since ancient times, with test plots being planted more than 200 years ago. Sowing these tiny seeds in your garden or outdoor area can attract birds like finches, sparrows, titmice, chickadees, and nuthatches.

Today, sesame seeds are commercially grown in many states, including Texas and Oklahoma, with limited acreage in Kansas and Florida.

Before planting any seeds, preparing the soil by loosening it up and ensuring there aren’t any weeds is essential. After that, spread the desired seeds in a sunny area of your property and water them daily until they begin sprouting. After they reach maturity, they will provide an abundant food source for birds throughout the year.

Providing Sesame Seeds at a Bird Table or Bird Feeder

This way appeals to several birds, such as finches, sparrows, and doves. Not only will you have the pleasure of seeing a wide range of beautiful species in your garden or yard, but you’ll also be providing them with an essential source of nutrition.

When setting up your bird table or feeder, consider offering sesame seeds alongside other varieties, such as sunflower seeds and peanuts. You can scatter the seed directly onto the table surface or fill one side of the feeder with sesame seeds for those birds that prefer it over other types.

It is essential to remember that unshelled versions should never be used, as many types of wildlife may have difficulty opening them.

It’s also essential to ensure that the seeds have been cleaned and sterilized before serving them to your avian guests; this will help prevent any potential diseases from spreading amongst the bird population in your area.

Sprouted Sesame Seeds

Sprouted sesame seeds can provide a high-energy, nutritious food source for wild birds. It is a great way to offer variety in the diet of your backyard birds and attract a broader range of species. Here are some tips on providing sprouted sesame seeds for wild birds.

Firstly, buy organic raw sesame seeds and soak them overnight in cool water. This will soften the hulls and aid germination. Once soaked, rinse them with fresh water before you spread them out on paper towels or cheesecloth to dry completely. The sprouts should be ready in 1-3 days when they are small enough to feed. Make sure you discard moldy seeds, as these can be toxic for the birds.

Sesame-Seed Dangers for Birds

From salads to hamburger buns to Asian dishes, these tiny seeds are an incredibly versatile ingredient – but for some birds, they can be hazardous. Unknowingly eating too many sesame seeds could lead to various health issues for birds, ranging from mild digestive irritation to severe organ dysfunction and even death.

Sesame-seed toxicity is rare among pet birds, but it does happen. If birds eat sesame seeds too much, they can develop a condition known as “sesame seed hepatopathy,” which affects the liver and causes yellowing of both the skin and eyes due to jaundice. Other signs include loss of appetite, lethargy, drooping wings, and difficulty breathing due to fluid buildup in the chest cavity.

Can Birds eat Sesame Seeds?

Is it Safe to Feed Sesame Seeds to Birds?

Studies on the effects of sesame seeds on bird health have been inconclusive because different studies yield different results. Some studies indicate that sesame seeds can help improve the nutrition of wild birds.

In contrast, others suggest that if birds eat sesame seeds may cause digestive issues or even increase mortality rates among certain bird species. The lack of scientific consensus on this topic makes it difficult to determine whether or not birds eat sesame seeds that are genuinely safe for them.

Small birds eat sesame seeds, but they should only be given a few seeds per day, while larger birds may be able to consume more safely.

In addition to the size of the bird, there are also considerations regarding what type of sesame seed is consumed. If a bird is eating hulled or hull-less sesame seeds, it can safely consume more than if it were eating whole sesame seeds. This is because hulled and hull-less varieties contain less fat and fewer calories per serving than their whole counterparts. Some brands of sesame seed mixes can also contain unhealthy additives that should be avoided when feeding your feathered friends.


Can Birds eat Sesame Seeds? Sesame seeds can be an excellent addition to a bird’s diet in moderation and following the proper precautions. However, birds should continuously be fed sesame seeds as they need to contain more nutrients to provide adequate nutrition.

It is essential always to research what foods are safe for your particular bird species before feeding. Regularly consult with your veterinarian and monitor the health of your bird to ensure they are getting the best care possible.

Read more: Can Birds eat Strawberries? Best Guide.