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Old Sunday 27th September 2009, 19:25   #1
ejfriis
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When to start feeding finches in NC?

This is my first year feeding. We put out an 8" tube feeder in the beginning of the summer filled with wild bird seed, and it needs to be refilled every other day.


Last weekend I put out a thistle seed sock feeder in another part of the yard in hopes to attract finches. I have yet to see a single bird feed from the sock.


What is the best time/season to start feeding finches in North Carolina? I would like to try a different seed (nyger/sunflower), and definitely a different feeder (we find the "sock" to be very unsightly). I'd rather not purchase the more expensive seed/feeder until it is the right season to attract finches.
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Old Sunday 27th September 2009, 19:40   #2
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Hi ejfriis, and welcome to birdforum.

I would suggest you should start feeding the birds in early or middle November.

http://www.birdwatching.com/tips/birdfeedingwinter.html
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Old Sunday 27th September 2009, 19:53   #3
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Hello there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum

Well here in Myrtle Beach, I put my thistle socks out the last week in Oct. Have been pleasantly surprised quite a few times.
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Old Sunday 27th September 2009, 22:43   #4
ejfriis
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Thank you for the quick responses. I think I will take the sock down, and re-hang it later.
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Old Wednesday 30th September 2009, 04:41   #5
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Starting now our Gold Finch populations at the feeder begin to increase. The finches we get prefer sunflower hearts over thistle in the fall through about April/May. I'll have both sunflower and thistle feeders side by side. The sunflower feeder can have 20+ birds on it while the thistle feeder is ignored.

When their plumage begins to change color in the spring they seem to shift to thistle. I read somewhere that the oil found in thistle helps their feathers turn colors, so this is why they shift.

I don't know how much truth there is to that, but our experience seems to follow that pattern. They eat us out of sunflower in the fall, winter, early spring, and then shift to thistle while their plumage changes in the spring before becoming scare in the summer.

Depending on where you live, and the size of the finch flocks you get, don't be surprised if you start to see a Cooper's Hawk or Sharp-shinned Hawk coming through the feeders during the fall and winter months.
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Old Wednesday 30th September 2009, 04:56   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMB View Post
Depending on where you live, and the size of the finch flocks you get, don't be surprised if you start to see a Cooper's Hawk or Sharp-shinned Hawk coming through the feeders during the fall and winter months.
I can attest to that, as I'm sure everybody else can too. I kinda of enjoy watching the hawks come in but they don't come in too often so it's not like I'm setting the little guys up, few and far between hawk visits, mostly get the starlings.

I'm assuming farther north you go the sooner you put out the feeders?

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