Black oil sunflower seed is a basic seed that most birds will consume (even though it may not be their top choice). Black oil sunflower seed is a small black shelled seed which is fairly easy for birds to open and eat. The one drawback of black oil sunflower seed is the amount of unopened seed and shells discarded by the birds as they eat it. The ground fallen seed is often consumed by ground feeding birds such as pigeons and doves. Black oil sunflower seed is popular with sparrows, doves and finches.