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 21, 2014

Leave the goldfinch feeder up for winter finches

Am I supposed to leave the goldfinch feeder up during the winter? I thought they migrated south.
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I love the American Goldfinches and mid-Michigan is lucky enough to have these birds year round. If you enjoyed watching them in the summer and fall, 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.

Winter also brings down some Canadian finches like the redpolls and siskins.

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 smash it with a spoon on white paper and see if any oil spots are produced. 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).

Finally, 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 finches love.

Related Articles:
- Goldfinch Migration http://bit.ly/pEuMKo
- House Finches: Those Year-round Red Heads http://bit.ly/opD7kb
- Bird of the week: Pine Siskin http://bit.ly/qNqIuK
- Birdwatching: Look for the Out-of-Towners http://bit.ly/q6Pkco
- Comparing House Finches and Purple Finches http://bit.ly/oOogOf
- 10 Winter Finches in Michigan http://goo.gl/C9WUqx
- Where do you place finch feeders? http://bit.ly/p4XHU4