Fish_knees. WOW what a wonderful visitor. It looks to be in the finch family. Not that I know much about wild birds, but he/she is absolutely beautiful. Would you mind directing some of them over this way? :-)
Yes, Lesser goldfinch. They only will eat the nyger seed and once they find it, they tell their friends. They have a sweet song, similar to a canary, and their contact calls always make me think of glass wind chimes. I have a flock of about 15-20 that are pretty much every day, year round friends.
Oh good! I hope they tell their friends :)
I didn't put out bird feeders for the longest time because of the flying rats :(
Susie I think you were the one that said to get the nyjer seed. It's so fun watching them.
Amazingly, I don't get any flying rats, even though a neighbor a few blocks over seems to get tons of them. Maybe that's why I don't get any, and if that's the case, I better hope they don't move or else they may come to my buffet.
I try to get it @ Walmart. Big bag is $20. Lowe's and Home Depot carry it also.
I'm going to have to get a second job at the rate these birds are sucking down the bird seed..lol flying rats=pigeons :(
I saw some black thistle seed that looked like your seed at our WM (but our WM is really crummy LOL). I have a really nice feeder I would like to put out but can't figure out a place the rats wouldn't find it. They mostly stay in the backyard not the side or the front and I certainly don't want to tempt them to come out any further!!
I was out enjoying the beautiful morning when I became aware of beautiful sounds. I looked around and in the top of the acacia tree sat a tiny little yellow birdy just singing his heart out. It was lovely, I just stood there grinning.
I can't stand it any longer. How to I get these finches to find my house? I'm in the Far Northwest part of Phoenix and I don't believe I have ever seen any around here. I don't put out seed (yet) for the birds because I worry about small rodents making a home in the yard to scarf up the seed. Is that a problem for ya all that have bird feeders? I have 2 tropical birds in the house and once in a while will take out there left over seed and put it on the block wall for the birds. Seed goes everywhere, but it also helps to keep those wonderful Morning Doves cooing in the trees around the house. So, if I should decide to venture into the wild bird feeder relm, how do I get the finches to become part of the backyard family?
I used to have bird feeders with the large seed - sunflower seeds/corn/millet. I had little field mice everywhere. I had to get a Havahart trap to get them when the cat caught them and brought them in. The worst was the pigeons though :( I haven't had feeders for years. I finally caved and bought the Nyjer seed like Birdlady Susie told me to do a long time ago (it's pricey) It was slow activity for a while, but now it's crazy out there! No mice and no pigeons show up either!
I need to get a nyger feeder, but right now I use the standard wild bird seed with millet, corn, sunflower, etc. and anything that winds up on the ground gets eaten by the Inca doves, which prefer to eat on the ground anyway. I get 30-60 doves at a time, 4 different species and no pigeons.
I'm a bit confused here. Is Nyger/Nyjer a brand name for a seed feeder or is it a kind of seed that one would use in a feeder??? I have found thistle seed, but haven't found Nyger/Nyjer seed. Does one only put thistle seed in the feeder? Assuming I only want to attract the "finch" varieties.
If Nyger is a brand name for feeders, then I have founds many of them on line. Not sure which one is best for the birds though and is it best to have one with a seed tray at the bottom or does it matter? Any specific models suggested???
Niger (and other spellings) is just another name for thistle seed. You can get a feeder specifically for thistle seed and finches. A good one is the sock-type. The sock is filled with seed and the birds cling to it to eat. If you use a regular feeder, usually the holes are big enough that other birds will steal your seed and the finches will have to do without.
Thanks judyb. I just came across the sock-type feeder before returning here to see if there was a response yet. I'm rather liking the reviews etc of the sock-type. For the life of me, I don't see how the finches get to the seed through the sock, but they must some how. There aren't holes in the sock already, right??? Anyway, I think I am starting to understand a bit now. If I got the sock-type will there be thistle seed all over the ground/patio where I want to put it? If so, is it possible for the thistle seed to grow if left on the gound?
The thistle that is on the ground is actually the hull of the seed, which is a little piece inside the skinny black seed. Kinda like the heart of the sunflower is inside the hull. I used to think that they wasted a lot of seed, until I found out that they are eating that little heart of the thistle seed. So, I have had thistle sprout before, I think 3 plants over the years. I encouraged them and nutured them, as they put out thistle flowers and then dried to seeds, which the goldfinches snack on. Looking very cute while eating the seeds, I might add!
A seed sock works quite well and can be refilled. If you live in the east valley, there is a Wild Birds Unlimited at Gilbert and Baseline, while they can be pricey, their feeders and seeds are very high quality. I also have found thistle at the feed stores, like Mesa Feed Barn, on Broadway west of Mesa Dr, or Western Ranchman on 32nd St south of Bell or Pratts on Glendale west of 51 Ave. Give one close to you a call and check prices, it will be worth it!
Ok, Sock feeder full of thistle seed has been out now for 2 days as of Sept. 24. NO FINCHES YET :-( I have a one foot by one foot sign with a large arrow pointing to the feeder saying ------->>>>>Finch Feeder This Way ! For those of you that have finches, please tell them there is extra food over my way. :-)
Thanks Fish, but I think you better brush up on your Finch. No one has shown up. lol Thanks just the same. By the way. Saw your post on your backyard and the shade tree. LOVE those ponds. Tried to see all the plants etc and many of them look like they would bake in ths new found sun. I hope that doesn't happen. Good Luck.
My neighbor feeds the pigeons on his driveway, so I can't put out feeders because they swarm and then I find them in my pond. Sometimes I only find an explosion of feathers which means a pigeon has had a close encounter of the Jake kind... Every so often Jake brings me in what left of a pigeon he's been playing with...shudder...
It took about a week for the house finches and house sparrows to realize there was something edible in the new bird feeder, but now they're really chowing down from sun up to sun down, so if there are a goldfinches within 2 miles of me, they should show up soon.
Well, they may not be Goldfinches, but I do have 2 (maybe finches) visiting the feeder now. Their little chests and a spot on the top of their heads are a real soft peach color. I'll keep hoping to see a Goldfinch, but for now, these are very welcome visitors too. Hopefully, I will get the two pictures loaded to this post. Anyone willing to declare these are definately finches???
The "me too" part of me went out and bought a sock feeder. Not sure how much I will attract, but it is in the oak tree next to the humming bird feeder. I have spotted the yellow finches in this tree before. The finches like to drink out of the hummingbird feeder, so we will see if they find the sock feeder and visit more often.
Just a follow up from Sept 30 post I made. I still only have the two house finches at my feeder and maybe that's a good thing. They sure can eat. I'm going to have to go get some more thistle soon. I'm guessing the mess under the feeder is from the seed covings that the finches don't eat. Perhaps I misplaced the feeder. Having it right over my patio might not have been the best choice. lol I maybe should have had it out in the yard somewhere so all the seed coverings would help fertilize the ground rather than the pavers.
All in all, I have enjoyed the feeder and the two finches. I'll keep it around for a while. :-)
Finally got my 1st Lesser goldfinches today, a male around 1:00 and a female around 3:30. got a pic of the male, but not the female. Also had a Bronzed Cowbird that came around 3 times, but by the time I realized he wasn't a Brown-headed cowbird and had made a positve ID, he was gone and I didn't get a pic.
I have 2 column feeders w/6 perches that I fill with regular wild bird seed; they hang over the frame for my garden shade, so the doves use the horizontal pole as a perch to get to the lower holes. I also have a large plastic pot base hung so the doves can get to seed w/o having to go to the ground. The nyger is in hexagonal feeder that slants inward so the larger birds can't access the seed; this has increased the number of sparrows and finches, as they don't get bullied out by the doves. So far I've had 15 species of birds, including 4 types of doves, 2 different finches, 2 species of cowbird and 1 species each of the others.
Got confirmation of a 5th type of dove at the feeders, an African-collared Dove. Also, I was just looking at the feeders, since I joined Project FeederWatch and Monday and Tuesday are my chosen bird count days, when all the birds took off in 2 waves, followed by a Cooper's Hawk in hot pursuit.
Am I the only one not getting any goldfinches at the nyger feeder? I had a few and then none in the last 2-3 weeks. I'm still getting lots of birds and had 10 species during last week's Project FeederWatch count and 11 this week, but no goldfinches.
Okay, so after reading this post I bought a sock feeder. The first one I put in the oak tree so couldn't really see what birds where there. Then I bought a second one and put it under the ash. Yesterday I walked outside to see a whole gang of them. I was so excited.
With this weather, the feeders are pretty busy as the birds look for the fastest way to fuel up to survive.
Frogymon- have you checked to be sure the thistle hasn't gotten wet/spoiled? somehow one of my feeders, that I have used for years, had moldy nasty seed at the bottom. They wouldn't eat anywhere on the feeder. Had to chuck it all, clean it up with bleach, let it dry thoroughly, then refill. Now have lots of goldfinch and house finch on it again.
The flying rats showed up over the weekend...darn it! I went outside and there were 6 or 7 on the ground under the feeder. I guess the feeders will have to come down for a while. I can't handle the massive amounts of poo that the pigeons drop all over everything :(
They are here year round, but there is a very large contingent that migrates. They are here in the summer, we get the babies at Liberty, but not in the numbers one gets in the winter. Kinda like the Canada Geese, most go north, but a whole bunch have decided that being permanent snowbirds is a fine idea. :)
I did a Christmas Bird Count yesterday, my group found 9 Incas, we were the only ones to find them in a circle that is 15 miles in diameter in the west west valley (Buckeye and beyond). I told them to come to my yard, there are always a couple dozen hanging out in the Oak tree.
We saw a total of 62 species, but I do not have the tally of the total number of birds. This was my 2nd count this year, I would do more, but they fall on the days I volunteer at Liberty. Every year they publish the Christmas Bird Count for all the counts done nationwide. Lots of numbers, but interesting to see the numbers and locations of so many different birds.
Not sure what that is, some kind of fruit was also my first guess, but it looks more like some flower broken off at the base (a rose??).
With regards to birds in the area, I had the pleasure, just after Christmas, of coming across this beauty in the Desert Botanical Garden. We had been given a head's up by one of the garden volunteers that this owl might be about, but it still took us a while to spot him/her. A Great Horned Owl, also saw a Western Screech Owl, which is much much smaller and since we saw it with binoculars it did not show up well in the pictures I took.
Saw plenty of interesting and cute birds that day, including quite a few roadrunners!
Valsflowers, you are absolutely right that the rose looks a lot like a little bird. Especially from a little distance.
Regarding the owl, it was interesting how unperturbed it was, because after we saw it and started taking pictures another group of people came by and wanted to know what we were looking at, and it became quite loud quite quickly, the owl could not care less.
I've seen a Northern Harrier hanging around the neighborhood for the past eek or so and my neighbor says she's seen a white owl in her pine tree several times recently at night. Hoping to get pics of both of them soon.
I go to Mesa Feed Barn for my seed, but then again I am also buying for my African Greys and finches. You may want to try Western Ranchman on 32nd St or Pratts out in Glendale. Otherwise I try to support WBU over here, the owners are super people and provide alot of support for the Desert Rivers Audubon Society.