Grey stripe Sunflower is lower in oil and fat when compared to black sunflower and is a better sunflower seed for inactive or caged parrots.
Sunflower Helianthus Annuus: Wild sunflower is native to North America and was first cultivate around 3000 BC. It may have pre-dated corn as an Indian crop and was widely used for food and medicinal purposes. The Spanish took the seed to Europe around 1500 to show off as an ornamental plant. By the 18th century, sunflowers were produced on a commercial scale for crushing, particularly in Russia where Peter the Great is credited with promoting the crop. Russia was the world leader in production and breeding for many years. It is believed Russian migrants returned the crop to its homeland in the US in the 19th Century and it was there during the 1970's that, seed companies began to produce hybrid seeds which produce higher yields, oil content and resistance to disease.
Sunflower as Birdseed:
Birdseed varieties usually have a lower oil content, about 30 to 35%, owing to a higher proportion of hull to kernel. The seed is grey/black and white striped and should be plump and well filled. Because birdseed sunflower demand is much lower than for oilseed, plantings are again often irregular and speculative and the price and quality can fluctuate dramatically. Birds love sunflower as they are full of fat. Some bird owners think that black sunflower is harmful to birds while grey stripe is ok. This isn't correct, black sunflower is simply more oily and fatty. Both types of sunflower are unhealthy if they for a large part of a bird's diet.