National Geographic Society Newsroom

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Seed Eaters

Typically, seedeaters are small birds with conical beaks. These birds eat seed and grain and are often known either as Old World or New World Seedeaters. Seedeaters’ beaks are strong adapted to open the most difficult seeds. There is a tremendous variety of seeds that are available in many parts of the world eaten by...

Typically, seedeaters are small birds with conical beaks. These birds eat seed and grain and are often known either as Old World or New World Seedeaters. Seedeaters’ beaks are strong adapted to open the most difficult seeds. There is a tremendous variety of seeds that are available in many parts of the world eaten by birds, making it less surprising that this group of birds is wide-spread.

Thank you to all the photographers that submitted photos of birds with the theme “Seed eaters”, your pictures can create awareness about the variety and beauty of birds in our environment. Here we present the Top 25 photographs of birds of the week.

American Goldfinch photographed in the USA. Goldfinches are common backyard birds that almost exclusively eat seed. They can also be found taking seeds from spent sunflowers or thistles (Kelly Hunt)
The Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark has a finch-like bill and short legs. These larks are often found in pairs or small groups, and they form larger flocks in winter. They mainly feed on seeds and insects. Photographed at Sultanpur, Gurgaon, Haryana (Krishna Kumari)
Baya Weavers are found in grassland, scrub with scattered trees, mangroves and cultivated areas. These birds mainly feed on seeds, and they are sometimes seen taking nectar, insects and small vertebrates such as the rice frog. Photographed at Faridkot, Punjab, India (Gagan Bedi)
Baya Weaver photographed at Pune, Maharashtra, India (Kavya Ram)
The Black-breasted Weaver is also known as the Black-throated Weaver. This species inhabits lowland grassy areas close to water bodies, with tall standing grass and reeds. They feed mainly on seeds, and nestlings are fed with insects, especially grasshoppers. Photographed at the Faridkot Outskirts, Punjab, India (Jasvir Faridkot)
The Black-headed Grosbeak is a seed eating bird. When feeding, these birds effortlessly shuck sunflower seeds with their heavy bills. Photographed at Vancouver British Columbia, Canada (Dr Parthasarathy)
The Cut-throat Finch is a small sparrow-sized bird that primarily feeds on seeds and termites. It is a monogamous species, and uses a wide range of bird nests – with communal nesting weavers being the most popular – (Lil’tography Lilian Sng.)
The European Goldfinch most preferred diet constitute of small seeds, grains, foliage and they are occasionally seen taking insects. Photographed at Surrey, UK (Edwin Godinho)
House Finches are known to be almost exclusively plant eaters, primarily feeding on grass, buds, grains, fruits and seeds. Photo taken at Malibu, CA. (Henser Villela)
House Sparrows are closely associated with human habitation and cultivation. Adult birds mostly feed on seeds of grains and weeds, but this species is also an opportunistic feeder that will eat whatever food is available. Photo taken in Delhi, India (Shounak Lahiri)
The Indian Grey Hornbill is an arboreal bird and is commonly seen in pairs. This species is known to feed on the fruits of Theventia peruviana, which are known to be toxic to many vertebrates. Photographed at Bhatinda, Punjab, India (PS Bhandari)
The Indian Silverbill is sometimes called the White-throated Munia, is a common resident breeder in the drier regions on the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent. This species has also been introduced into many parts of the world and it has become established in some areas. Photographed in Ibri, Sultanate of Oman (Dr SS Suresh)
Indigo bunting showing off its true colors. Photographed in Balashi, Aruba (Patrick Peña)
The Red Munia is also called the Red Avadavat or the Strawberry Finch. It is found in open fields and grasslands of tropical Asia. Red Munias feed mainly on grass seeds but will also be seen taking insects such as termites when they are available. Photographed at IT Kharagpur Campus, Kharagpur, West Bengal, India (Gargi Biswas)
During breeding season, Red-winged Blackbirds are often found in marshy areas. Their diet includes insects in the summer and seeds in the winter (Kelly Hunt)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak photographed at Central Park, New York, USA Photographed by (Adriana Dinu)
The Russet Sparrow, also called the Cinnamon or Cinnamon Tree Sparrow, is a chunky small seed eating bird with a thick bill. This sparrow feeds mainly on the seeds of herbs and grains, but it also eats berries and insects, particularly during the breeding season. This diet makes it a minor pest in agricultural areas, but also a predator of insect pests. Photographed at Uttarakhand, India (Ravi Muthuswamy)
The Scaly Breasted Munia, sometimes called the Spotted Munia, feeds mainly on grass seeds apart from berries and small insects. This species is highly social and may sometimes roost with other species of munia. Photographed at Selangor, Malaysia. Photographed by (Richard Chong)
Scaly-breasted Munia in Lucknow, UP, India (Prakash Vir Singh)
White-rumped Munia, or the White-rumped Mannikin, is sometimes called the Striated Finch. It is native to tropical continental Asia and some adjacent islands, and has been naturalized in some parts of Japan. Photographed at Malvan (Kalyani Kapdi)
The Streaked Weaver feeds on seeds but nestlings are fed mainly with insects and small snails. This species forages in flocks, often with other weavers. Photographed at the Basai wetland, Guru gram, Haryana (Dr. Sanjay Solanki)
The Streaky-headed Seedeater is a common resident breeder in suitable habitats in southern Africa. Its habitat is open woodland and scrub. Photographed in the Western Cape province, South Africa (Mary Walker)
The Tricoloured Munia is a small gregarious bird which feds mainly on grain and other seeds. It inhabits wet grassland habitats, and it may also be found in tropical lowland moist forest habitats. Photographed at Kota, Rajasthan (Shashi Dushyant)
Vernal Hanging Parrot! Photographed at Saswad, Maharashtra (Akshay Gotkhindi)
The Yellow-throated Sparrow, also known as the Chestnut-shouldered Petronia, is found in southern Asia. This species feeds mainly on grains but it can also be seen taking insects, nectar. Photo taken at Ferozepur Punjab by (Manish Ahuja)

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Abigail Ramudzuli, Campaign Manager

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Bird Interactions

About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of the world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Meet the Author

Steve Boyes
Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to conserving Africa's wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. After having worked as a camp manager and wilderness guide in the Okavango Delta and doing his PhD field work on the little-known Meyer's Parrot, Steve took up a position as a Centre of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. He has since been appointed the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust and is a 2014 TED Fellow. His work takes him all over Africa, but his day-to-day activities are committed to South Africa's endemic and Critically Endangered Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus). Based in Hogsback Village in the Eastern Cape (South Africa), Steve runs the Cape Parrot Project, which aims to stimulate positive change for the species through high-quality research and community-based conservation action. When not in Hogsback, Steve can be found in the Okavango Delta where he explores remote areas of this wetland wilderness on "mokoros" or dug-out canoes to study endangered bird species in areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Steve is a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work in the Okavango Delta and on the Cape Parrot Project.