Goldfinches

If you have a garden and want to attract goldfinches without buying bird food, as well as the obvious teasels and evening primroses, another good option is Centaurea Montana (perennial cornflower). Easy to grow, long lasting and unlike the other two more widely publicised alternatives, is much earlier flowering. Mine is currently flowering, but also has new seedheads which goldfinches are coming to every day. Today they have brought newly fledged offspring. I think they were lucky as the weather will have wrecked a lot of other goldfinch nests (and others) over the last 24hrs. As well as good for goldfinches, all three plants referred to are good for bumblebees.

  • Really interesting to know Rob so thanks for the info. We do already grow teasels as well as plants like Scabious for the bumblebees and Echinacea, Coreopsis, etc., We also have wallflower (Erysimum) which has a long flowering season and still been thriving in December and attracts butterflies, bees and hoverflies. The weather has turned really wet and cooler these last few days and noticed the birds are hunting everywhere for food although it's much easier ground for them to dig the worms out.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Got to admit, I've not thought of Erysimum. Presumably, the bit about "borderline hardy" that I've just read hasn't been an issue for you, Hazy? Got down to minus double figures here a couple of times while we've been here, so if it can survive that, I'll make sure I find some space for some. I don't mind covering vulnerable plants when I think of it. Just not confident of always thinking of it, or of being here all the time.
  • Hi Rob, I think our variety which I bought for under £2 per pot from Aldi was 'Bowles' Mauve' a perennial but I would have to check to see if I still have the label, it certainly looks the same when I checked online. What I couldn't believe is the extended flowering period and it did tolerate very cold and zero temperatures and without any fuss it just keeps giving year after year !

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Thanks for the heads up on this Rob, I have some growing in a large pot so if the birds don't get them I will save the seed and make a large space for them.

    Jim

    My Pictures

  • Got to admit, my top tips for goldfinches and bees are looking a terrible mess today after all the wind and never ending rain! I've now got the dilemma of untidiness on a large scale v food for goldfinches.
  • Thanks for the headsup! We never seem to get goldfinches in the garden, even though we have the teasels and not forgetting the expensive niger seeds... I know they are around, but they seem to not like all of the tits, corvids and squirrels. The rain is getting a bit much now. All the fledglings are soaked bless them.

    Kizzy
  • In reply to KizzyW:

    Hi Kizzy, I get de-husked sunflower seeds, and have a constant queue of redpolls, goldfinches, green finches, and siskins. I tried niger seeds, but found de husked sunflower seeds covers a wide variety of birds, easy and accessible. I did try black sunflower seeds, but of course the de husked seeds were much easier to access, and so I just stick with those now, peanuts, and mealworms.