bird feeders uk | Seed Bird Feeders

Bushtits mass on a birdfeeder in Salem, Oregon.Image via Wikipedia

Nyjer Seed Bird Feeders Attract Goldfinches Like Crazy
By Larry Jordan
Attract goldfinches as well as purple and house finches, pine siskins, and redpolls to your backyard with a nyjer seed bird feeder. You can choose one of the new wire mesh thistle feeders or one of the traditional thistle tube bird feeders. Then there's always the old thistle sock bird feeder.

Nyjer, nyger, niger and thistle are all names used to refer to a small black seed cultivated in India and Ethiopia for over a thousand years. The true niger seed comes from the Guizotia abyssinica plant which is an annual herb grown for its edible oil and seed. It is NOT a type of thistle and is not a weed. As a matter of fact, it is now grown in the United States.

Niger seed probably got confused with thistle because goldfinches are known to eat thistle seed and use the downy fluff from thistle plants for their nests. In an attempt to differentiate these two terms in the mind of the public, the Wild Bird Feeding Institute trademarked the name Nyjer in 1998. I don't think that this was successful however because most people still think Nyjer seed is some kind of thistle and a noxious weed if allowed to grow.

When you purchase Nyjer seed, many companies still use the word thistle on the package which has the unintended result of confusing the public even more. This bird seed is imported from India and Ethiopia and by USDA regulations must be sterilized, not to keep the niger seed from spouting, but to keep other noxious weeds

that are incidentally mixed in with the niger seed from sprouting. You can now get non-sterilized, American grown niger seed right here in the United States.

Because Nyjer seed is so expensive (over a dollar a pound in 2008) it is important to feed this seed in specially designed feeders. A good Nyjer seed bird feeder will allow several birds to feed at once without excess seed being wasted. The thistle tube bird feeders should be your first choice in my experience. Small slits in the polycarbonate tubes of these feeders only allow the finches to pull out one seed at a time. This limits the amount of wasted seed.

The Nyjer seed bird feeders made of wire mesh would be my second choice. These feeders allow flocking goldfinches to feed wherever they land, plus some hold large amounts of Nyjer seed. They are probably best used with a seed tray below to catch spilled seed.

A thistle sack bird feeder is an inexpensive choice as far as the initial cost of the feeder goes. Made of durable, fine mesh nylon, these feeders allow as many hungry finches to feed as can comfortably hang on the thistle sack. They now are available in black which makes the beautiful goldfinches really stand out. These mesh bags will cost you more in the long run than the other types of Nyjer seed bird feeders because of wasted seed.

Which ever feeder you choose, you are guaranteed to have flocks of Goldfinches visiting your backyard!

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