Feeding Goldfinches through winter definitely has it’s advantages. These vibrant, sweet songbirds will grace your yard with amazing beauty and song during warmer months. Folks have nicknamed the American Goldfinch the “wild canary” due to their dazzling, lemon color. Sadly though, they they don’t remain this color all year because of molting, the process that replaces worn and tattered feathers with fresh new ones. Despite their drab winter plumage…they’re the same sweet birds that will flock to a thistle feeder all winter long.
One of the best ways to keep goldfinches around is to eliminate their need to compete. Most times, they’ll give up on over-crowded feeders. An easy, and economical way to do this is by adding thistle sacks, small to medium nylon mesh stockings, meant for feeding thistle, or nyjer seed. The entire surface lets birds feast on the seed.
Around your garden…don’t dead-head Marigolds, Zinnias, Coneflowers, or Cosmos, Goldfinches feast on these as well. Nesting material and birdbaths will always help entice most feathered friends to your yard too!
A great way to attract new types of birds to your back yard is by using thistle feeders, but some care must be taken to choose the right size and type. Thistle feeders, also called finch feeders because of the colorful birds they attract, are the perfect feeder for many backyard birders. They do not attract squirrels (no squirrel baffle is needed), and the seeds do not germinate meaning you can hang them over a garden without fear of creating weeds.
The fine thistle seed isn’t preferred by all birds, though the feeders will attract Indigo Buntings, Pine Siskins, and others. As a result, there are times when they get cleaned out quickly, while in other places the seed can last a while. We have two sizes in our garden, with the large rainbow finch bird feeder in the back section where a larger number of birds will use it. In close (so it can be seen from the window) is the Metal Nyjer Haven Feeder. This has a cage around it, and I was amazed at first at how many birds can fit inside the cage.
For increasing the variety of birds that come visit your yard, a thistle feeder is a colorful and easy to maintain addition to any backyard habitat.
If the squirrels in your yard believe that your bird feeders are meant for them, then you’ve likely wasted enough money on disappearing seed! The furry critters can eat their weight in bird seed in one week! Even with a baffle, if not placed strategically and correctly, bird feeders will fall prey to the menacing acrobatics of the backyard gray squirrel.
But with a good squirrel proof bird feeder you’ll never have to think of the intruding squirrel again. Every bit of food will remain available for your feathered friends. With a wise investment in a squirrel proof feeder, you will have saved enough money in birdseed over time to pay for it, and save yourself countless episodes of squirrel/bird feeder aggravation!