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Any point putting out niger seed? (2 Viewers)


United Kingdom
On our hanging feeders we only really get sparrows and starlings, recently a couple of blue tits and long tail tits have turned up but who knows if they'll stay. Do you think there'd be any point in trying niger seed in one? We don't ever see the goldfinches or other finches that are always mentioned as the reason of putting them out.

We did try a sample feeder a few years ago and it wasn't touched, but it wasn't really out for very long before it got wet, so I don't know if it'd be a waste of money trying it again for longer with a better feeder, hoping for a different result.
If there are goldfinches in the general area then with persistence I'm sure they'll eventually start using it, but it might take a few weeks. It can be a bit messy and does sometimes sprout on the ground. Most successful feeder I found was the stainless steel finely pierced tube type.
Some years ago after having never had Goldfinches on my feeders I put one out filled with niger seed, within twenty minutes two Goldfinches arrived to feed on the niger, they became regular visitors after that, so try it and see. Good luck
It took a very long time (years) before I got goldfinches on my Niger seeds, but they eventually found it. I also get bullfinches and greenfinches using it.
Same here..... I gave up many years ago.
Same with me. I've only seen a couple of Goldfinches here, Young ones passing through in the autumn. After the first one I got some Niger seeds but nothing was interested. I even tried it in a tree which is a little apart from the feeders.

Last year I got an adult for a day and he was happy feeding on the general seed feeder and fat balls.
Tried nyger & gave up on it too.
Sunflower hearts work better.
I get lots of Goldfinches.
My In-laws get even more but they live in a village.
I've heard of it where someone who put out niger seed didn't get anything on their feeders, but their neighbour over the fence put out niger seed, and got flocks of goldfinches, on the other hand, when he put out sunflower seeds he got flocks of goldfinches, but his neighbour didn't get any on his sunflower seeds! I guess its just up to the goldfinches tastes!
I had an old niger feeder which had been up a while, and I've actually seen blue tits, great tits and coal tits feeding from it, although I don't have it up anymore.
i didn't get any goldfinches in my garden even though i had niger feeders which were there for some time,the niger feeders were green in colour, i purchased yellow niger feeders and now get up to 10 goldfinches at any one time so maybe the colour attracts them??, the goldfinches came within days of putting yellow bird feeders out

i didn't get any goldfinches in my garden even though i had niger feeders which were there for some time,the niger feeders were green in colour, i purchased yellow niger feeders and now get up to 10 goldfinches at any one time so maybe the colour attracts them??

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I've wondered about trying this before, but have the feeling I'd end up with a redundant feeder and more unused niger seed 😂
Goldfinches in my area seem equally happy with either sunflower hearts or nyger. For Nyger, as mentioned the stainless steel nyger feeder seems the most successful. But these days I don't really bother with Nyger. I have one large seed feeder with a mixture of quality general purpose feed and sunflower hearts. The other has small suet nuggets in a wire cage. After may years of trial and error, that combination seems to get the most species for the lease work and expense
Once I've done all my niger seed I'm retiring my niger feeder. It took ages for the first one to use it and now they just pull all the seed through the small holes and leave huge piles uneaten on the plastic plate underneath. The sunflower hearts on the other hand never lasts more than half a day before I've got out and restock it. Sunflower hearts and nuts for me from now on.
Seems like the results are very varied and the answer is just to try it :) I do have some sunflower hearts that I might try first. I always wonder why they don't colour them all yellow like that sampler one. Do sparrows ever have a go at them? We have plenty of them.
We had very few visitors to our nyjer seed feeder (mesh tube). I put it in perch-type feeder, mixed in with sunflower seeds, and (most) birds ignored it - at all the sunflower seeds and left the nyjer behind. But then I started getting White-throated sparrows and Juncos foraging below the feeder and they appear to be eating it. So maybe the tube feeder (which requires hanging on while pulling out little seeds) is the real issue? I'll probably feed what's left of 20lb bag, by dispersing on ground...
Well if I do try a feeder I think I'll be colouring it yellow if it's not already, it's not hard to see why it might make a difference!
I have tried several types of nyjer feeders and only one has been successful. The others made it too difficult for the birds to pull out the seeds. I start the season with fresh nyjer seed and keep it stored in a large food service pail with a air tight lid.

I hang the feeder where there are bushes less than a meter away and so the birds move back and forth between the branches and the feeder.

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