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.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What Bird Seeds Goldfinches Like Best

I'm writing to scold you and I want you to reprint this on your computer newspaper. I did not think it made a difference where I bought my finch food. You said it made a "HUGE" difference. I took home a small bag of your thistle and I noticed it did make a HUGE difference!

Now I have so many finches at the feeder I will have to come in every week to keep the feeders full of your seed. Why do the other stores bother selling bird food when it is so inferior? ~ Lansing, MI

Attracting more goldfinches is very rewarding. They are bright, cheery songbirds that the great state of Michigan is lucky enough to have year round! However, it's very common to here people tell me they just don't have large numbers goldfinches.

There are a lot of bird seed blends containing many different types of seed. So how do you know which bird seed to buy? Wild Birds Unlimited uses research from a three-year, one million dollar study of bird seed and feeder preferences in the United States and Canada.

We know that goldfinches eat a variety of seeds. Sunflower and Nyjer thistle are two of their favorites at the feeders but it has to be fresh. 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 receives a fresh load of seed each week).

Feeders also attract the American Goldfinches. We sell a variety of finch feeders. My favorites are the Mesh Finch Feeders. They not only let the finches land and feed in whatever position they choose, but they also allow air circulation to keep your Nyjer Thistle as dry and fresh as possible; something that's very important to these picky eaters. (Nyjer thistle is the common name used to identify a tiny black birdseed but is not related to the purple, prickly, Canada Thistle weed.)

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