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.

Monday, October 10, 2016

How to pronounce Nyjer®

Nyjer® (pronounced NYE-jer) is a trademarked name for a little black seed used by the wild bird feeding industry that is favored by the finches. It is also known as thistle by backyard birdwatchers because the seed looks so similar to the “noxious weedsCanada thistle and Bull thistle. A noxious weed is a plant that has been designated by an agricultural authority as injurious to agricultural or horticultural crops, natural habitats or ecosystems, or humans or livestock.

Nyjer® does not grow weeds. It is heat treated for sterilization. However it does leave a lot of shell waste below the feeder. Nyjer has a thin shell that the finches efficiently pinch between their bill, extract the seed and drop the inedible part below. At an active feeder, all those shells accumulate quickly into a little black pile. This is a good thing to know before you place a feeder. You can rake up the pile, or cover it with mulch or a ground cover plant. The birds won’t eat the shell later.

Nyjer's high oil content makes it an excellent energy source for active birds, and it's best used in our specially designed finch feeders. It is important to keep the food fresh because finches can be picky eaters. Once seed starts to dry out and become stale, finches will look for fresher forage. Store your Nyjer in cool dark spot for a longer shelf life, and buy in quantities that will be used up in a few weeks.

And you must clean your feeders at least once a month, especially during the spring and fall when there are more birds looking for food. Moldy seed and the debris that collects on feeders can create illness and House Finches are also highly susceptible to the “House Finch Eye Disease”, something they can catch at dirty feeders. Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing - will clean your feeder for $5.00 and it will ready the next day we are open. Or you can purchase professional cleaners and brushes at Wild Birds Unlimited, or use a mild one part bleach or vinegar to nine parts water solution to disinfect all of your feeders. To prevent mold in bad weather use Feeder Fresh™ (a silica grit that absorbs water and humidity, is safe for birds, and made from non-toxic absorbent sand).

Related Articles:  
What to do if you have soggy seed in your bird feeder http://goo.gl/kfTpi
Nyjer (thistle) isn't related to Canada Thistle http://bit.ly/Nt8Xxu
Bird of the week: American Goldfinch http://bit.ly/PZum2a
How to Attract Goldfinches http://bit.ly/A6CwjB
How often do you clean a bird feeder? http://bit.ly/wTk0c7
Where do you place finch feeders? http://goo.gl/avIs2

No comments: