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Where Did My Goldfinches Go?

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Old Tuesday 30th April 2019, 22:39   #1
davidhunternyc
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Where Did My Goldfinches Go?

I live in NYC and I'm in a conundrum. I need your help. This last January I hung up a nyjer feeder on my fire escape. Throughout the long Winter I had goldfinches feeding from my feeder all day long. I loved watching them. I always keep my feeder clean and I make sure that my nyjer seed is fresh and not dried out. Now it is spring and the goldfinches are nowhere to be seen. Just as their color turned into the most incredible yellow, they disappeared. Again, my feeder is clean and my seed is fresh. I do live directly across the street from a large forested park. Could it be that come Spring and Summer that goldfinches no longer want to eat nyjer seed? Maybe I need to offer another kind of seed in the Spring besides nyjer? Are they getting another food source that is better than what I'm offering? Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Last edited by davidhunternyc : Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 00:43.
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Old Wednesday 1st May 2019, 00:25   #2
Danielbirdwatcher
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Dude, I get a few of them in the spring to nothing now. It happens every year to me.
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Old Wednesday 1st May 2019, 00:56   #3
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in the uk its now their breeding season which means they disappear from the feeders to find a nesting spot and rear their young,bringing up a family close to a feeder might sound like a good decision but it doesn't work that way,once the breeding season is over your goldies will be back with some of their youngsters in tow
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Old Wednesday 1st May 2019, 05:38   #4
davidhunternyc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawwauser View Post
in the uk its now their breeding season which means they disappear from the feeders to find a nesting spot and rear their young,bringing up a family close to a feeder might sound like a good decision but it doesn't work that way,once the breeding season is over your goldies will be back with some of their youngsters in tow
Thank you for your explanation. It is helpful. I am also hoping that you are correct and that the goldfinches will come back after they give birth to their young. What a fascinating and amazing explanation. I would never have thought of it. Still, I have a nyjer tube feeder hanging up. Do you think any other birds will come feed from it or is my feeder just going to hang there with nyjer seed rotting away?
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Old Wednesday 1st May 2019, 06:36   #5
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The birds will have moved to a suitable location to build their nest and feed their young with natural food. Anywhere that has a good sprinkling of trees and shrubs would be the place to find them. Maybe Central Park or any other green space. If other species have also stopped feeding it may be wise to give the feeders a good clean and sanitise.
Have you looked at the ABA website for info?

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Old Wednesday 1st May 2019, 13:00   #6
davidhunternyc
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Thanks Pyrtle. Like I've said, my feeder is always clean. I clean it at least once a week, sometimes more. This is not the issue. My nyjer seed is always fresh too. I think that kawwauser is correct. The goldfinches must be nesting and having babies in the park across the street. How long do you think they will be gone before they start coming back? Also, what other bird species will feed from a nyjer feeder in the northeast? If the goldfinches are gone for now maybe another bird will come and eat the nyjer. I was also thinking about getting a nyjer/crushed sunflower seed mix instead of just pure nyjer seed. Do you think this is a good idea?
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Old Friday 3rd May 2019, 06:53   #7
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They are not really regulars to my garden but I do see them time to time on top of a tree before flying off.
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Old Friday 3rd May 2019, 06:56   #8
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In the UK the only other species to come to nyger seed feeders are Siskins and Redpolls, but only in winter times. Good luck with other feeds and species.
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Old Friday 3rd May 2019, 13:12   #9
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I've noticed that I could put crushed sunflower seeds in with the nyjer seed. Do you think that the sunflower seed will attract other species? Also, I called a few bird experts in my area and they concurred with you here. They said the goldfinches are off making babies and it's common for them to disappear for the month of May. I should see them back in June with their babies in tow. I hope so. : )
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Old Friday 3rd May 2019, 14:50   #10
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Sunflower hearts (rather than seeds) are the most versatile food here in the UK. All manners of species take them whole or "nibbed" including robin, blackbird, sparrow, tits (chickadees) and other finches. The hearts are more expensive but do not leave a mess. Pigeons, doves and crows are also partial to this food source.
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Old Wednesday 19th June 2019, 22:40   #11
davidhunternyc
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So here's an update. I just read the Duncraft blog, "Where Have All My Goldfinches Gone"? According to the blog post I am supposed to switch to black oil sunflower seed or sunflower hearts in the summer months. My issue is that when I put out these seeds my bird feeder is overrun with house sparrows. How can I continue to feed goldfinches in the summer months but keep the house sparrows away? Your expertise is appreciated. Thank you.

https://blog.duncraft.com/2013/07/16...dfinches-gone/
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Old Thursday 20th June 2019, 07:53   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PYRTLE View Post
In the UK the only other species to come to nyger seed feeders are Siskins and Redpolls, but only in winter times. Good luck with other feeds and species.
Ive also had Brambling, Coal Tit, Great Tit and Blue Tit on my feeders as well as the aforementioned.

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Old Thursday 20th June 2019, 09:10   #13
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Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Collared doves all eat my niger seed off the tray as well as the regular Goldfinches which spill some on the tray,
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