Unlike hummingbird or fruit feeders for migratory and some songbirds, finch bird feeders are a welcome addition to any garden or yard virtually year-round. You’ll be graced with the most gorgeous lemon yellow plumage in warmer months, only because Goldfinches are one of the few birds experiencing two molts per year. They’ve even earned the nickname “wild canary”.
These colorful birds flock to finch bird feeders and chow down on thistle! In fact, they eat it almost exclusively and nestlings are fed the same. This food has added benefits; squirrels ignore it, and it is non-germinating which means that spilled food won’t turn into weeds.
Some of the longer tube feeders can cause problems with clumping, damp food at the bottom. If your feeder is not busy enough to have finches eat all of the thistle, (also called nyjer seed) on a regular basis, it can clump when it gets damp, molds and turns rancid. Then the attraction for our feathered friends will quickly fade. A feeder that distributes seed more evenly is one solution to this problem. The Finches Favorite 3-Tube feeder is a perfect example of this practice. Plus you can see all 24 birds eating at once, which is a truly spectacular site!
You can also try working with your existing feeder to alleviate this problem, Something I have tried is buying a few inexpensive ping pong balls and putting them inside my finch feeder. The thistle is fine, so it flows around the ping pong balls and is available to the birds. But the balls take up space in the feeder, reducing the amount of food it holds. The result: less food in the feeder means less clumping and fresher food. You can add or remove balls until you get the right balance of food and space for your feeder and your habitat.