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.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

When do I take down the finch feeder?

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

Related Articles:
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


GumbyandPokey said...

Thank you very much. Now understand why the finches were avoiding my finch feeder. I was feeding them seed from last year!


Anonymous said...


I just wanted to leave a comment to say thank you. I just began bird watching/feeding last year to entertain the kitties and knew nothing until I began to google descriptions of birds, and your site kept popping up in the results. It seems like every question I asked led to your website. I've learned more from your site than anywhere else online and here is another good example of it. I was trying to figure out what the newest bird at my back deck is (Junco) and it seems like every question I have about Michigan birds is recently answered in your wide variety of entries here. So thanks for the education!

Wild Birds Unlimited Mid-Michigan said...

Thank you for such nice comments. I really appreciate the positive feedback.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for such a nice site. Very informative, the buckeyes say hey to all.