Birdwatching has become one of America’s favorite pastimes. Along with watching birds, the natural tendency is to start attracting the birds you want to watch. To attract birds is easy. To attract the birds you want takes more effort and planning. The correct cover, feeders, water supply and your own dedication will make or break your success in attracting certain birds.
Goldfinches, lets discuss attracting this small colorful favorite of birders everywhere. First a story. A friend called stating she had not had a goldfinch in two or three years while our feeders were being emptied by hungry throngs of flashing yellow Goldfinches on a daily basis. Naturally I had to see why. She had feeders, water, and appropriate cover. Her thistle feeder was full of this favorite food for finches. Yet, there were no finches of any kind. We took down the feeder. Examination of the seeds revealed old, moldy, and even sprouting seeds. No wonder there were no finches! We dumped the seeds, cleaned the feeder with soap and water, dried, and refilled with fresh seeds. Two days later she had finches.
The story is a lesson in the right and wrong way to feed any bird, not just finches. Always be aware of what you present as food. Finches and other songbirds will shy away from your feeders if the seeds are not kept safe for them to eat. Check your feeders often and especially after rainfall to avoid moldy seeds that could sicken your birds.
Goldfinches can be attracted to virtually any backyard. Most successful is to supply thistle or nyjer seeds in a thistle / nyjer feeder designed for use with these small seeds. Thistle “socks” are also available. The Goldfinch will pull the seeds through the material. While thistle seeds are a favorite of finches, other birds aren’t as fond of these seeds, so the tiny finch does not compete with larger birds for these seeds. Place your feeders in the open but close enough to cover that the finches can dart to safety. When first attracted to your feeders these will be very wary and shy birds. Any movement sends them scurrying to safety. After a while many will learn to tolerate your presence as long as you move slowly and don’t get too close. A shallow fresh water supply should also be nearby, again close enough to cover that these birds feel safe.
These are the basics. Just be patient, consistent, and diligent. This includes keeping the feeders full and keeping the feeders clean. One trick we use, as long as the seeds are not wet, is to pour unused seeds into our seed container and mix them with fresh seeds. We do this each morning as we fill our feeders. Another ideal situation is to hang other feeders nearby with black oil sunflower seeds. We find goldfinches flock to these feeders also, both tube and platform feeders. Thistle remains the main food of choice, but we find several finches taking the sunflower seeds as well.
There you have it. Get started with a good quality feeder and fresh seed and you should be enjoying these colorful birds in no time. Feeders for finches range from the socks above to whopping 36 inch feeders with spiral perches. These feeders will accommodate up to 24 feeding birds at a time with room for several more on these spirals. We recommend polycarbonate feeders. The tubes remain clear allowing the finches to find the thistle quicker. Pay us a visit at www.fancyflyers.com/new359656.html [http://www.fancyflyers.com/new359656.html] and check out this 36 inch spiral finch feeder.