what wild birds eat thistle seed

Nyjer seed is very popular with seed eating birds. Knowing the types of birds that enjoy eating the nyjer seed can help birders choose the right birdseed feeders for the backyard.

Where does the nyjer seed some from? The African yellow daisy. Although the nyjer seed is not at all related to the thistle plant, it is commonly called thistle seed. Nyjer seed is one of the most popular bird seeds found in a backyard feeder. It is high in oil and a nutritious source of energy. It can also be the most costly seed to purchase.

The birds that enjoy eating nyjer seed commonly have small sharply pointed bills that can easily manipulate the small shell to get to the seed. Many of the birds that eat nyjer seed are clinging birds and they can even eat upside down. Ground feeding birds will eat nyjer seed as well.

American goldfinches California quail Common redpolls Dark-eyed juncos European goldfinches Hoary redpolls House finches Indigo buntings Lesser goldfinches Mourning doves Pine siskins Purple finches Song sparrows

Even woodpeckers, thrushes and chickadees have been known to eat nyjer seed! You never know what birds you will see!

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Lesser goldfinches Mourning doves Pine siskins Purple finches Song sparrows American goldfinches California quail Common redpolls Dark-eyed juncos European goldfinches Hoary redpolls House finches Indigo buntings

You never know what birds you will see! Nyjer seed has been known to be consumed by woodpeckers, thrushes, and chickadees.

Nyjer seed is very popular with seed eating birds. Selecting the appropriate birdseed feeders for one’s backyard can be facilitated by being aware of the kinds of birds that feed on nyjer seed.

The small, sharply-pointed bills of the birds that like eating nyjer seed enable them to easily manipulate the small shell in order to reach the seed. A large number of nyjer seed-eating birds are clinging birds, and they can even consume food upside down. Ground feeding birds will eat nyjer seed as well.

The African yellow daisy: Where does the nyjer seed some come from? The nyjer seed is sometimes referred to as thistle seed even though it has no relation to the thistle plant. One of the most widely used bird seeds in backyard feeders is nyjer seed. It is a wholesome energy source that is rich in oil. It can also be the most costly seed to purchase.

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It looks like birds wont eat it once the seed dries out and not all birds like it so I would make sure that you have the right types of birds in your area. Sometimes the birds would also rather eat wild seeds instead of from feeders.

Also, its not actually thistle seed, its just called that for marketing purposes and its sterilized by heat so you dont need to worry about thistles coming up from the seeds.

We have several feeders. Chickadees will eat nyger until the sunflower feeder is empty. It appears that the gold and purple finches favor the nyger seed. As of now, only juncos consume millet seed, which is typically found in inexpensive mixes, and even then, only after it has been on the ground for about a week.

The black oil sunflower seeds and the lard-oatmeal bricks I make are by far the most popular items at our feeders.

With “thistle” seed, I’ve had varying degrees of success. Some batches disappear quite quickly, while others remain in the feeder until I empty it. I believe it depends on how long they are kept in storage before being sold. Although goldfinches favor it, I’ve also occasionally seen purple finches and juncos on the feeder. Unexpectedly, house sparrows will consume it; however, they have a preference for seed that can be trampled onto the ground. Mesh bags occasionally function fairly well, but in general, I’ve found that the doll Yankees-style tube feeders with slits work incredibly well. The drawback is that while a mesh bag can be thrown away if the seed gets moldy, the feeder needs to be thoroughly cleaned. If the seed isn’t receiving any response, I would suggest changing it more recently. At least once a week. I placed it on the ground, but it’s not ideal if you don’t want rodents to intrude. Now I just add it to the compost bin. In addition, I found it fascinating that goldfinches adore sunflower heads. They will use the “top” of their heads as a feeding platform as they hang upside-down, carefully selecting the seeds, cracking them open, and devouring the hearts. We now grow sunflowers every year, mainly for that.

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FAQ

Why aren’t the birds eating my thistle seed?

Finches won’t feed on brown, old-looking seed. Thistle seed (aka Nyjer®) dries out quickly, so store your fresh thistle in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. This helps preserve the seed, preventing it from drying out until it goes into your finch feeders.

Will squirrels eat thistle seed?

Thistle Seed (Nyger) Generally speaking, squirrels don’t eat thistle seed. (We have received e-mails from people who claimed that squirrels were eating thistle seed; perhaps those squirrels were really hungry.) However, mice do. Be sure that you don’t allow thistle seed to reach the ground.

Can I put thistle seed in a regular bird feeder?

Nyjer seed (also referred to as Nyger or thistle), is a small, black seed high in oil content, making it an excellent source of energy for the birds who eat it. Many birders choose to offer Nyjer in their bird feeders throughout the winter months since many non-migratory birds feed on the nutritious seed.

What’s the difference between thistle seed and nyjer seed?

Nyger, niger or thistle bird seed are all names for the same bird seed from Africa. The official name, nyjer, was picked in 1988 so as not to offend anyone with the name niger or to confuse anyone about it possibly being a thistle seed. It is not our common thistle that we consider a weed here in the US.