If you adore the vibrant yellow plumage of Goldfinches, it’s best to keep thistle feeders out year round. Thistle seed, also called nyjer is enjoyed not only by Goldfiches, but Indigo Buntings and Pine Siskins relish this seed too. One of the benefits of thistle is that it will not germinate, so there are no worries of sprouting weeds below your feeder. Another is that Goldfinches will sit at your feeder pecking seed after seed (to feed their brood) so it’s easy to view the charming songbirds. Both their song and disposition make the American Goldfinch a favorite among many backyard birders.
A common drawback to the very long, tubular style thistle feeders is that seed gets compacted at the bottom and tends to draw moisture if always filled from the top. Some feeders can be filled from the top or bottom. Remember to dump old seed and keep feeders clean. The three-tube thistle feeders also tend to distribute the seed more evenly, thus eliminating the problem of packed seed at the bottom.