Investigate what’s in bird seed

Have you ever wondered what is in bird seed? Why don’t you do this fun experiment to find out?
Some bird food has nuts in, so avoid this activity if you have a nut allergy.

Investigate what’s in bird seed

What you'll need

  • A packet of wild bird seed

  • Flower pot or seed tray

  • Compost

  • Magnifying glass

  • Tray

  • Paper and pencil

What to do

  1. Empty some of the seeds on to a tray and spread them out.

  2. Look at them through the magnifying glass. What do you notice? How many different types and shapes of seed are there? What describing words would you use? You can draw the different kinds of seed on your paper to record them.

  3. Fill your pot or seed tray with compost until it is nearly full.

  4. Mark it into sections and sow a type of the bird seed in each area. Put some compost over the seed and water.

  5. Place the tray or pot on a sunny windowsill and watch what happens.

  6. Which seed is quickest to germinate and grow? Can you guess which shoots come from which seeds? You can keep a diary of how the seeds grow.

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.