"I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven."
Emily Dickinson

Monday, August 12, 2013

Feeding goldfinches

A clean feeder with fresh nyjer seed attracts goldfinches to your yard. Photo by J.J. Meyer
Q: Why do I see flocks of goldfinches at my feeders on some days and not others?

A: Goldfinches move around a lot.  It's reported that 25 to 100 different goldfinches can visit a feeder in one day.  In most areas throughout North America, they increase their feeding activities at feeders during the spring. They feed all summer long and flock in large numbers in late summer and early fall. 

Because goldfinches are known to be picky eaters, there are several things you can do to make sure goldfinches find your yard attractive:
  • Keep seed fresh and dry. Shake your tube feeder periodically to make sure that the seed inside the tube feeder is dry. And store the seed in a sealed container to keep it fresh.
  • Make sure the seed does not stay in the feeder for more than a month (two to four weeks in wet climates). 
  • Discard any moldy seed. 
  • Place your tube feeder away from the feeders where larger birds are feeding. This allows the smaller birds access to the finch feeder without being harassed.
  • A tray is recommended for finch feeders to keep seed from falling to the ground. Goldfinches prefer not to go to the ground for food,  so much of the dropped seed will be lost.  Having a tray will also give bigger birds such as house finches and mourning doves a place to land and eat. 
  •  Happy Birding!
  • J.J. 

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