Really Big nyjer feeder
If wild bird activity in your yard is anything like ours right now, then you likely have tons of Goldfinches. Although they’re not so gold right now with their winter plumage…they’re still out there!
Filling the nyjer feeder for them every few days can really start to become a chore. Some feeders claim to be large capacity feeders – but really aren’t. This one is definitely a large capacity feeder, holding seven pounds of nyjer seed (more commonly called thistle).
Now seven pounds may not sound like much when thinking of volume, but thistle is a tiny grain-like seed, and seven pounds in a feeder is a lot.
Pine Siskins and Red Polls also visit nyjer feeders, and our Goldfinches are even eating suet in this frigid weather.
Help birds thrive during cold weather by offering a few staples that will serve them well in winter. Thistle, suet and sunflower seed are a few good options. Water is also extremely important, especially when birds’ usual sources (like shallow ponds) tend to freeze. A heater in your birdbath will also be a welcome sign to entice many feathered friends. Happy Birding!
Upside Down finch feeders are Selective
Got House Finches? Got Purple Finches? Want a feeder for Goldfinches only? Then you’ve got to try upside down finch feeders. That’s exactly why they make them…for Goldfinches only. They are the only finches (in North America) who will eat while perched upside down.
Goldfinches’ electric yellow plumage has earned them the nickname “wild canary”. And although their plumage does fade in winter to an olive-drab color, continue feeding them throughout the year to have that bright yellow color grace your yard in spring and summer.
Finch feeders are a perfect choice for yards and gardens as the thistle (or nyjer) seed is a non-germinating seed. This means no weeds below feeders. It’s a pleasure to watch these sweet birds as well, as feeding habits are more likely to have them stick around pecking seed after seed, as opposed to grabbing a seed and flying off with it.
All finches, plus other birds will use finch feeders filled with thistle seed. If you’re wanting to be more selective and attract American Goldfinches only, go for an upside down finch feeder this year. Happy Birding!
Create a Bird Magnet in your hanging bird bath
Although I’ve never tried this personally, it’s a fantastic idea to entice more feathered friends to your hanging bird bath!
From experience of having several birdbaths containing water features, I can guarantee that moving water really does attract more birds and keeps them around longer.
We have water wigglers, drippers and leaf misters going all summer in our birdbaths, (and heaters in winter) but only one hanging bird bath which has no water feature to create moving water. I saw this idea in a birding magazine and thought it was pretty darn clever.
Take a gallon milk jug (keeps it out of the landfill) and pierce a tiny hole in the bottom corner with a needle or safety pin. The hole must be minute for this contraption to work correctly. Next, fill the jug with water and hang it above the bird bath. The slow, steady drips will create a visual magnet for birds at your bath. It’s amazing to see the difference a bit of movement in the water really makes. Be sure to keep the bath and water clean, and plan on re-filling the jug about once a week.