This is the first year we have had "finch bags" out for our beautiful little friends. My husband has LOVED giving daily finch reports - "there are 10 on there at one time", etc. We were talking this morning and realized we don't know how long to leave the bags/feeders out. Have looked on line and don't find a definitive answer. Can you answer this question? Thanks for your help! ~ Ginny
I love the American Goldfinches! The great state of Michigan is lucky enough to have goldfinches year round and if you enjoyed watching them in the summer they'll also bring you joy in the winter. They do lose their bright yellow color but when they sing it's like they bring sunshine with them even on the dreariest days.
And for those of you that only feed during the winter and had left over Nyjer seed from last year, it's probably too dried out to feed to your birds this year. One way to check your seed is to pinch it with your fingernails and see if any oil comes out. The finches use their bills to twist the seed and sip the oil and then drop the shell. If your seed has dried out, your feeder will be skipped. (Wild Birds Unlimited East Lansing, MI receives a fresh load of seed each week).
Also remember not to cut off the tops of your Marigold, Zinnias, Cosmos, or Coneflowers right now because they're full of tasty seed heads that the Goldfinch love.
And once a month the mesh bags should be brought in and washed in the sink with the diluted vinegar water or thrown into the whites wash. Hang it up to dry and then refill.
I started with the mesh bags too but every spring I would watch a red squirrel shred it and then bundle it up in her mouth, I assume to build a soft nest for her babies. Now I have 5 Wild Birds Unlimited lifetime guarantee metal mesh feeders. Today they are eating like there's no tomorrow: http://youtu.be/YY3jNnq67EI
How to Attract Goldfinches http://bit.ly/qaVwBA
How long does bird seed stay fresh? http://bit.ly/nIlV3i
How do you recommend cleaning a mesh finch feeder and how often? http://bit.ly/nB7DNJ