Nyger Seed

Advice please?! We have been very successful with mixed seed and fat balls in our small suburban garden in Hampshire, attracting sparrows, blue tits, great tits, coal tits, plus other birds who hoover up underneath, like the robin, dunnocks, wood pigeons and collared doves. A very occasional greenfinch. But when we put out nyger seed in early July, in a brand new feeder, we had no customers at all for a month! We have gone back to mixed seed. Any ideas, whether or when we should try the nyger seed again? Thanks.

  • My goldies seem to go off nyger seed in the summer, preferring sunflower hearts, I will start putting the nyger out again in the next week or so.

    Caroline in Jersey

    Cin J

  • In reply to doggie:

    I usually put my nyger feeder out in October, get the birds used to them again for the winter feed off !! but as everybody else, sunflower hearts at the moment. Once winter arrives you will be inundated with hungry bills ;-)

    Feed The Birds....not the cats!!!!

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  • In reply to Big Robbo 27:

    I have just put out a new nyger feeder as I was at last getting goldies.

    Needless to say I have not seen a single goldfinch and NO other birds on any feeders apart from a flutter of starlings yesterday,and even they only stayed a few seconds!

    I know they will be back and it seems to me that a lot of patience is needed in this game!

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  • In reply to Big Robbo 27:

    Nyger seed is only eaten by a few species (goldfinches, siskins and a few others) and it is really only best to put it out once you have got goldfinches visiting as the majority of other birds don't eat it.  It is an additional food to provide at the same time as normal seed mixes, not something to replace the normal seed mixes with.  Seed mixes cater to a varity of birds, nyger seed is for a few specific species.

    Millie & Fly the Border Collies

  • In reply to madpenguin:

    Am I reading your post correctly, that you put up the nyjer seed in place of the mixed seed, or did you leave the mixed seed up as well as the nyjer?

    If you took away the mixed seed, this is why you have lost your birds. Not many like nyjer seed - mainly siskins and goldfinches eat this.

    I would try some sunflower hearts if I were you, plus some mixed seed in a different feeder, but leave the nyjer up to possibly attract some goldfinches, although this can take months and you will need patience.

    Cheers, Linda.

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  • In reply to KatTai:

    I totally agree with the above.  I have been volunteering for the RSPB in a bird room near me and the nyger feeder there was doing me proud with family parties on it all the time.  This meant I could point out youngsters.  The feeding area was in a woodland so I would expect the goldfinches but I do have the same problems with the nyger feeder in the garden as everyone else.

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  • In reply to doggie:

    Hi Doggie,

    Are you 100% sure you need to buy such a large amount? A little goes a long, long way, and the seeds are very light and tiny. If you are sure, try Maltby's. This firm provides first class service and all the products I have bought from them have been excellent quality.

    25K nyjer, £26.95, delivery, postage and packing free.


    Cheers, Linda.

    See my photos on Flickr

  • i had the same trouble i put nyger seed out for the first time last year and to be honest its wasted not one bird was interested so i put some in a bowl under a tree thinking a ground feeder may be interested but no such luck just like you nuts fatsnacks mixed seeds all a great sucess i don,t have a clue is it the colour puts them off?

    flying by

  • In reply to sue thomas:

    Sue - it isn't the colour that puts the birds off, it's just that nyger seed appeals to just a few species and if they aren't regular visitors the seed just isn't going to get eaten.  It is very popular with those birds it does appeal to, usually goldfinches, but if they aren't visiting in numbers there is little point in putting out nyger seed.

    Millie & Fly the Border Collies

  • In reply to KatTai:

    I have to concur with what has been said already. I am filling 5 sunflower heart feeders every two days at present as the goldies seem to prefer this. I have to say however that this summer is the first time my niger seed feeder has been emptied (other than by me chucking it away) I think this might be down to sheer volume of birds wanting perches though as I have never had this many goldfinches before.


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