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No action on Goldfinch feeder loaded with Nyjer - ? (1 Viewer)

PNW Birdpeeps

New member
Hello everyone - This is our first "real" post here, not counting the "Hello My Name Is ____" post in the Hello forum LOL

We have a couple of feeders hung over our backyard from cables, and can pull them back in to our elevated deck on pulleys to refill, clean, etc. We decided to hang 'em high for several reasons - 1) To avoid the mess on our deck and deck railing (lots and lots of seed n bird poo!) 2) To be able to see them from inside the house (vs. than if we had hung them in stakes in the ground in the yard below, or from the various trees in the back yard) and 3) To prevent squirrels/raccoons from raiding the feeders and keeping them from becoming cat-feeding stations!

The cable/pully system works famously, and we love it. Keeps all the mess out in the yard, where ground feeders can benefit from the seed that the Stellar's Jays copiously throw out looking for their favorite bits, and keeps everything at a level that we can watch from almost anywhere in the house or on the deck or in the yard.

The feeders hang about 15' from the ground, and while the main open-style feeder attracts loads of the aforementioned Jays, Black-cap and Chestnut-back Chickadees, Blackheaded and Evening Grosbeaks, several different flavors of Sparrows, Downey/Hairy Woodpeckers, Mountain Thrushes, and the occasional Spotted Towhee, the goldfinch feeder hanging about 6' away gets largely ignored. Last year we let it hang there for a week or two, knowing that it takes a while for the goldies to notice it, and they finally did, 3 of them coming for a few days in a row. They'd land and peck a few seeds out, futz around a while then depart. We never saw them after the first few days they showed up.

What could be wrong? Is it the seed? It's Wagner's Nyjer, pretty good stuff. Maybe the height of the feeder above the ground? As you can see from the pictures, we've loads of natural cover and perching available (there is also a large cherry tree just out of the frame to the right side). Appreciate any insights! Thanks :)


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Some years back I bought a HUGE farm sized bag of nyjer seed from Tractor Supply Co, at least 50 pounds weight or whatever the standard feed size bag of those weighs, I really prefer to forget, and the birds would have nothing to do with it, literally nothing. In the end I gave most of it away to friends who feed birds out in the deep country, hoping the birds would be less picky there, but I don't believe they had any luck with it either (politeness prevents them saying and me asking). I don't know what the problem with that seed was, it looked fine, mice liked it, but I never invested in more and that's for sure.
Try putting the seed in a different container...sock like or mesh like. They have them at the stores. Just guessing but perhaps the fishes prefer to feed by clinging on the sock and pulling out the Nyjer seed...
I adapted my niger seed feeder by adding a 12"dia tray underneath, this stops a huge amount of seed falling on to the ground (birds are very wasteful) This also serves as a perching place.
Works very well, and even the Doves and Chaffinch and Greenfinch take a share.

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