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Hi all,

New to the forums so excuse any missteps or misspellings.
I've read over this forum regarding goldfinches and Nyjer, and I see that others have also observed these birds ignoring their "favorite" in favor of black-oil sunflower.  That is certainly the case here in SE Pennsylvania (western suburb of Philly).

I gather that stale Nyjer may cause this; I have changed brands and refilled 3 times with the same result over the past 2 seasons.

Nyjer isn't cheap, so I'm thinking of giving up on it if no one wants it.  Any other insights for this beginning-level backyard birder?

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Several years ago we were having the same problem.  I also determined that it was stale.  Make sure you buy your Nyjer at a place that has a high turnover.  It may sound strange, but I buy my Nyjer at Wal-Mart.  Usually I avoid the big box stores in favor of the smaller local ones, but Wal-Mart seems to have the freshest Nyjer.  Everything else, I buy at my local bird store.  

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My goldfinches seem to prefer the platform feeder that we fill with Pennington Fruit and Nut seed this year.  That surprised me as I'd also bought the white sock filled with thistle seed at Walmart as usual.  I'd checked the seed to see if it was fresh and did not detect any oil from any piece tested.  However, I'm not a bird so I put it out anyhow.  Many of the goldfinches are eating from it, so it must be OK.  However, I am seeing they most prefer the fruit/nut blend on the platform feeder.  I also bought something that was new to me; it was a cake of seed for the finches wrapped in yellow netting.  They are not interested in that.  That's what is happening 58 miles inland from the coast in South Carolina.

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2 hours ago, DocBill said:

Thanks for the reply.  I'll try Walmart's brand before I give up on nyjer.

Welcome to Whatbird!!!

I have at the moment about 200 American Goldfinches in my yard!! I have a platform feeder with mostly sunflower chips on it, a hanging feeder with sunflower chips, a couple more smaller feeders and sunflower chips spread on the ground. The Goldfinches are all over all of them. I also have 3 socks hanging, which I fill with thistle seed from Walmart. The brand is Premium Bird Feed, apparently a Walmart brand. The socks are also covered with Goldfinches. I keep the feeders and socks full year round. The American Goldfinches are here through the Winter and Spring, and I have Lesser Goldfinches year round. So I would suggest doing what you said, try Walmart brand thistle seed, and try putting it in socks. What I did first was buy the prefilled socks, then refill them from a large bag of loose seeds.

These critters are about to eat me out of house and home, though!!! Good luck!

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Thanks to all who replied very helpfully: my new bag of Wagner's nyjer seed has goldfinches all over it (2 feeders: one tube, one screen).

Problem solved.  I guess I had old/stale/moldy seed.  I'll be changing it more often especially when I don't see activity for a few days.

Now if only the indigo bunting I saw once last year would come by for a visit again!

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I just finished whining about this in another discussion.  Mine seem happy enough with BOS and the same Pennington mix.  I've decided to abandon niger, since everything that eats it is already eating the other stuff anyway.

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On ‎4‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 3:49 PM, DocBill said:

Thanks to all who replied very helpfully: my new bag of Wagner's nyjer seed has goldfinches all over it (2 feeders: one tube, one screen).

Problem solved.  I guess I had old/stale/moldy seed.  I'll be changing it more often especially when I don't see activity for a few days.

Now if only the indigo bunting I saw once last year would come by for a visit again!

Great news!!! I was just getting ready to ask what feeder you're using but it sounds like your problem is solved. I snapped this picture a couple weeks ago. Finches are one of my FAVS!

 

finches.jpg

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