About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What's the best feeder just for goldfinches?

I'm looking for a feeder for finches that sparrows can't get to.  I had some beautiful goldfinches until they were bullied by sparrows and now we're down to 2 and I don't want to lose them! Can you help?????  I've seen cages with the outer wire but they are so expensive, I can't afford it. Thank you.

Make sure you use just straight nyger thistle. Goldfinches like a variety of seeds and so do House Sparrows but nyger thistle is a seed the attracts mainly goldfinches.

Next is your feeder choice. I don't like the cage feeders. I like the mesh feeders the best (or the cheap route is the mesh sacks filled with straight nyger).

Or you could go with the upside down feeders. Wild Birds Unlimited East Lansing, MI sells a Droll Yankees upside down finch feeder that is inexpensive but still high quality. The feeding ports are below the perches. Goldfinches can cling and swing upside down to eat but most sparrows and House Finches won't feed while hanging by their toes.

Finally let me tell you that House Sparrows and House Finches are feeding babies right now and are trying to find enough food to fill many mouths. Goldfinches don't nest until August and so these single birds are footloose and fancy-free.

That gives goldfinches much more time to forage for natural foods which are in abundance during the summer. So even if you purchased a new feeder you probably won't attract the high numbers again until August.

That is my favorite time of year! By mid-August you'll wake up every morning to the tinkling tune of baby goldfinches. They look similar to the female or a goldfinch in winter colors and their baby call reminds me of a squeaky dog toy. "♪ High, low...♪ high, low, low."

Sarah: Thank you so much, what a wonderful help you were to me! Would you believe I just ordered 2 upside down feeders and I do only use thistle. The socks aren't working because of the sparrows. I never knew about the August babies, this is wonderful! I thank you so much. Joy
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