Thistle Feeders Are A Magnet For American Goldfinches
1. General Review of Nyjer/Thistle Feeders
Thistle feeders, or as they are more commonly known, nyjer (sometimes spelt niger) seed
feeders, make a great addition to any backyard because of their amazingattraction power.
Nyjer seed feeders are just what the “bird” doctor ordered if you want to attract Goldfinches to your yard.
The prospect of dozens of brightly colored yellow birds flitting about my backyard brings a big smile to my face.
Remember that Goldfinches are year-round visitors to your backyard. However, you may not recognize them as easily in the winter.
As winter approaches, the males undergo a cosmetic change.
Their brilliant yellow fades and it is difficult to tell them apart from the paler females.
Goldfinches will nosh on many different bird seeds, but thistle seed, which is also known as nyjer seed, is their very favorite food.
So, if you keep a well-stocked thistle feeder in your backyard, you will have flocks of visitors twelve months of the year.
2. List of Styles:
- Usually they are slender tube style bird feeders with tiny feeding ports. It is necessary for the feeding ports to be small as thistle seed is tiny and light weight. It would blow out of an
ordinary feeder quickly.
- Goldfinches love black-oil sunflower seed and white millet too which can be offered along with thistle seed in a triple tube feeder.
- An upside-down thistle feeder has the perches above the seed ports. The only birds that can manage this easily are little birds like Goldfinches, Chickadees, and Pine Siskins.
- A Goldfinch feeder can also come in other shapes than a tube. Some nyjer seed feeders are designed very similarly to a chalet feeder, but with the seed openings much smaller and a perch for the little birds to sit on.
- Sock feeders are well-liked by Goldfinches and Chickadees. Sock feeders are usually a nylon netting in the shape of a long sock without the foot. Dozens of birds can dine at one time on this inexpensive feeder. They simply land, cling and pull out thistle seeds through the mesh while
hanging upside down or sideways.
Thistle Seed Feeders I Recommend
With Gold Star Rating
Thistle Seed & Finch Mixed Seed
(Finches love mixed seed too, but maybe not quite as much as straight thistle seed.)
3. Best Seed Choices
Surprise! thistle bird seed or also called nyjer seed. (Couldn’t resist.) ?
4. Positives For This Type of Feeder
- Attracts American Goldfinches in droves and they are a delight to watch. (Learn more about feeding finches.)
- Another positive feature of the thistle bird feeder is that the perches are too difficult to manage and ports are too small to allow Black Birds, Starlings or most other nuisance birds the
opportunity to feed. Consequently, your thistle seed will be consumed only by a few types of birds, the ones you want.
5. Problems for Thistle Feeders
- Nyjer seed is a very small, light-weight black seed. It is so small that ordinary bird feeders cannot hold the thistle seeds. Even a gentle breeze will knock the nyjer out the ports and on to the ground.
- Nyjer seed is not inexpensive, but well worth it.
So, the answer to this problem is simple. You need to pay a visit to your local wild bird store and purchase a thistle feeder. These cylindrical feeders have tiny narrow port holes. This means that the seeds cannot easily fall out or be blown away.
- Where you locate your thistle bird feeder in your backyard is
important too. Although the Finches and Chickadees are very social and
not afraid to visit feeders located almost anywhere in your yard,
Goldfinches are nervous birds. Therefore you may have to place your
thistle seed feeder in several locations before you find the spot that
suits these skittish little fellows.
6. User Opinions
I have never heard a negative comment concerning the use of a nyjer seed feeder, except for 2 things:
1. The expense of purchasing thistle seed.
2. Disappearing birds during seasonal changes.
Most bird watchers are delighted with the entertainment provided by their visitors to a thistle bird feeder.
7. List of Birds Attracted to This Feeder
- American Goldfinch
- House Finch
- Purple Finch
- Pine Siskin
But thistle feeders do not only attract Goldfinches. House Finches, Purple Finches, and Chickadees love to join the hoards of Goldfinches at thistle feeders.
But, the dining guests are not limited to these birds. We have often seen Mourning Doves and Sparrows of various kinds on the ground below our nyjer seed feeder, cleaning up the nyjer seeds that have been
spilled from the feeder.
Other birds as they migrate through our area will stop in too, such as Juncos in the autumn.
So if you want your backyard alive with color, cheery sounds, and lots of wild bird activity put out a thistle feeder and enjoy!
All About Bird Feeders
- How to Clean Seed Feeders When we make the decision to draw wild birds to our backyards with feeders, baths or houses we also, whether we first realize it or not, must be committed to keeping them clean.
- How to Feed Finches? Feeding Finches of all varieties is very rewarding. Find out what they like to eat and the best feeders to use.
- Take the Bird Feeder Quiz We can learn so much from taking quizzes that test our knowledge. You may be surprised at how much you know and have fun doing it too.
- Bird Feeders FAQ Check out what other bird watchers are curious about and discover the answers to questions that are often very common among backyard birders. Throw your helpful ideas in too.