Arett Outlook May 2016

Finches Eat Differently Than Many Other Wild Birds; Give Them a Feeder Designed Specifically for Them!

Finches are a favorite among many backyard birders across the country. Their tiny stature, feisty attitudes, and beautiful, bright colors are entertaining to watch as they fly from feeder to feeder in search of their next meal. They are some of the most unique songbirds known to visit bird feeders, and if you’re willing to cater to their specific needs and preferences, attracting finches can be fun and rewarding!

There are quite a few varieties of finches and sparrows that visit bird feeders all over North America. Most are year-round birds and will stay in your area throughout all seasons, however, a few species located in the southern United States may migrate north to Canada for breeding during the summer months.

Some finch species are easily identified by the unique colors the males display. House Finches and Purple Finches have beautiful raspberry colored feathers on their heads and necks, while others, like the American Goldfinch, have vibrant yellow and black markings all over in the spring and summer months.

Finches eat mainly seeds and insects, and they are particularly fond of smaller seeds like black oil sunflower and Nyjer® at feeders. Black oil sunflower seed is more of an all-around seed choice that many bird species love. But, if you’re looking to appeal mainly to the finch species, offering Nyjer® seed is a great choice since many larger birds won’t eat it.

Nyjer® seed is extremely nutritious for these tiny birds. The high oil content of Nyjer® provides loads of energy that these guys require. Once the oiliness dries out from the seed, it loses its attractiveness to birds. That’s why it’s important not to overfill feeders when using Nyjer®, and always store unused Nyjer® seed in an airtight container. To make the seed in your feeder last a little longer, gently shake your feeder every day to jostle up the seed and prevent seed clumps and mold from forming.

Although popular, Nyjer® can be quite pricey. Because Nyjer® has such a small kernel, it easily can fall out of regular bird feeder ports. Instead, you will need a feeder with ports that have a tiny, slit-like opening so you don’t waste your expensive Nyjer® seed. An added bonus when choosing to offer Nyjer® is that squirrels prefer Nyjer® less than most other types of bird seed. That’s right, squirrels will likely leave your finch feeders alone if you choose to offer 100% Nyjer® seed!

If you want to attract finches to your yard, put out a feeder that is specifically made just for them like the Perky-Pet® 10 Inch Metal Finch Feeder. This metal bird feeder is designed without perches to allow for only clinging birds, like those in the finch family, to cling anywhere on the feeder’s surface area and pull out seed. And because there’s no perches, you can see more birds eating from this feeder than you would with a traditional bird feeder. The tiny holes all over this feeder securely hold Nyjer® seed so it won’t spill all over the ground, and the sturdy metal construction resists damage if it should fall or be knocked to the ground.

The Perky-Pet® Select-A-Finch Tube Feeder is another great feeder option for attracting finches to your yard. This feeder also holds Nyjer® seed, and is designed to not only cater to finches, but even more specifically to goldfinches. Goldfinches are the only finch variety that will eat seed while hanging upside down. They’re known to be finicky eaters, so providing them with a feeder that’s all for them will increase your chances of attracting these bright yellow beauties.

With the Select-A-Finch Tube Feeder, you have the option of changing the ports to attract either all varieties of finches or just goldfinches, making this the perfect 2-for-1 finch feeder! You can choose where the perch is placed by rotating the ports. When the perch is underneath the port, you’re able to attract all finches to this feeder, but if the perch is above the port you’re sending a message to all other birds in the yard that this feeder is only for goldfinches!

Finches are great birds to have visiting your feeders. Many varieties of finches, like House Finches, travel in large groups, so if you attract one, you’re likely to attract a whole flock of 50 or more birds! By offering a feeder designed specifically for finches, you’ll make your yard the hot spot for multitudes of cheerful birds all year long!

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