Goldfinches...come back!

  • What a great photo Tony! We will keep persisting and hopefully they will return
  • Hey Lorri,

    Like many people in this thread, I find that sunflower hearts attract them more than nyjer seed. I got a feeder for specifically nyjer seed, filled it many times with fresh seed after it was left to get wet, moved it around the garden to different spots to try, and rarely saw a goldfinch on them.

    As soon as I started using sunflower hearts in a different feeder, I noticed a higher number of visits from the Goldfinches. That's what they seem to like in this part of the world, anyway (Cambridgeshire).

    Maybe it was the bonfire that triggered their queue to leave - I'm not certain, but it sounds likely.

    Also, I think it's great that you named your house accordingly. It reminded me of that clip from 'I'm Alan Partridge' (some episode in series 2) where he's spitballing names for his new house that's being built. I read it in his voice
  • I find that my goldfinches are not interested in the big niger seed feeders, but what they do love are the little yellow feeders sold as "try out niger seed" at many garden centres. I have two - they are always busy and need refilling daily, whereas the "proper" feeder stays full. They love sunflower hearts too, of course.
  • I second the advice about sunflower hearts! I have a charm of goldfinches who are regulars in my garden - usually there are somewhere between 15 and 20, but they sometimes seem to get together for a massive party, and we did once have 100+ birds eating the seeds on next door's leylandii. They really love the grey sunflower seeds, not the black ones with husks.

    I think it sometimes takes a few years to build up a large feeding population of birds. It's actually good to put out all types of food, because different species seem to encourage each other to come in, like a kind of collective confidence.
  • Goldfinches have a slightly longer finch bill with very fine tips which are perfect for getting the little seeds out of things like Teasels. Someone invented the niger feeder so that the little seeds could really only got out by Goldfinch. That’s fine but we have always found that just because they are the only ones that can use it, it doesn’t mean they will especially when it’s so much easier to get at the sunflower hearts - I don’t know any bird that doesn’t like sunflower hearts - even the Dunnock prefer to feed under the sunflower feeder. We find our Goldfinch only come in occasionally unlike the tots and chaffinches which seem to be constantly at the feeders. Like most other people we know, we no longer use a niger feeder. I hope they come back and nest for you.




    My Flickr:

  • We have only seen Goldfinches feeding on the Niger seed feeder when there are many Goldfinches in the garden at the same time and then only one or two will eat the Niger seed. However, we have also had Siskins feeding at the Niger seed feeder, but again, only one or two out of a flock will eat Niger seeds. Mostly, both Goldfinches and Siskins seem to prefer sunflower hearts.

    Kind regards, 


  • Little update: I worked from home yesterday so my office was our kitchen that looks out onto the garden. We did a small bit of landscaping at the weekend and replaced our feeders and re-positioned them. Our normal seed mix and fat ball feeders were moved to the tree and replaced with a feeder of niger seeds, one of sunflower hearts and one of peanuts. I sat down about 8:30am and on cue a goldfinch landed on top of the feeding station, had a quick look but flew off. That was it as far as the feeding station was concerned for the entire day. The 20 or so sparrows emptied the feeders in the front garden, we had collared doves, wood pigeons and a few blackbirds feed from some seeds/mealworm on the floor, but that was my lot. Around 5pm I noticed 10 (a record for me) goldfinches in the silver birch tree opposite our garden, but they didn't come down and did the off shortly after.

    I say all this because today I am back in my office in London, but my girlfriend has just text me excitedly to inform me of 4 goldfinches feeding on the sunflower hearts and niger seeds. She has taken some pictures on my camera and I will upload some later. Made my day!
  • Glad the new feeder positions are working and the goldies are returning. Mind you, it's typical they waited until you were back in your office, they do it on purpose, you know :)


    Nige   Flickr

  • I have a Niger seed feeder and a Sunflower feeder that hang together on the same stand, Goldfinches, Finches and the Siskin's feed from both and can be emptied in a day.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Thanks for the help Alan (again)

    Pictures aren't the best as they are through the back door and my girlfriend wasn't sure how to work the camera, but I think she did ok!