A SERVICE OF THE OUTDOOR WIRE DIGITAL NETWORK
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2018
American Goldfinches and Pine Siskins feeding at an All Steel Magnum Nyjer Feeder https://www.duncraft.com/All-Steel-Magnum-Nyjer-Feeder
Pine Siskins feeding on a Duncraft Window Nyjer Stocking Feeder https://www.duncraft.com/Window-Nyjer-Stocking-Feeder
With predictions that this winter could be a big year for large numbers of northern finches to winter farther south than normal, Nyjer seeds will help attract more of these interesting and colorful birds to your backyard feeding station. Nyjer, previously known as Niger or incorrectly as thistle, is a highly preferred food for goldfinches, redpolls, Purple Finches, House Finches and Pine Siskins, although many other species will utilize this versatile bird food.
Nyjer seeds are oil rich – that’s why they are a preferred energy source. They are also tiny and require a special feeder. Tube feeders with very small feeding ports or “sock” feeders with small mesh are favorite feeders for offering Nyjer seeds. Nyjer can be offered straight or in a mix with other seeds specially blended to attract finches.
Nyjer is an expensive seed. It’s grown in parts of Africa and India, Nepal and Myanmar in Asia. One reason for the higher cost is that Nyjer seeds are sterilized with intense heat to kill the seeds of other plants that could become invasive here in the United States. If, after trying Nyjer seeds, you find it attractive for birds in your yard, buying the seed in larger quantities can save you money. Just be sure to store Nyjer seeds in a cool dry place so the seeds remain fresh.
One caution for Nyjer is that birds crack open the tiny seeds and discard the hulls, which will accumulate underneath feeders. Be sure to rake and remove the hulls regularly, or use a “no mess” blend of seeds. It’ time to gear up for finches, if you haven’t already; it could be a very exciting winter!
Article by Peter Stangel
You can watch a short video about Nyjer seeds from the experts at Wild Bird Centers of America https://www.wildbird.com/nyjer-seed/
Learn more about this exotic seed at https://www.thespruce.com/nyger-seeds-for-finches-386574