Finches are pleasant to watch because of their vivid, gorgeous feathers. They have several species, including the American goldfinch, the house finch, the purple finch, etc. All of these finch species are predominantly seed-eating birds, and any seed feeder will be appealing to the Finch family.
But what seeds do finches like the most?
Finches are particularly fond of Nyjer Seeds and Sunflower Seeds. These seeds are rich in oil and are easy to eat by finches’ short beaks. Because finches enjoy the combination of Nyjer and sunflower seeds, this combination is your best hope for bringing a brilliant multi-color feathered friend to your yard or garden.
More On Nyjer & Sunflower Seeds
Nyjer (Thistle) Seed
Nyjer seeds are derived from the African yellow daisy. They include a balanced combination of protein, fat, and fiber, making them an excellent high-calorie alternative for winter birds. Ensure the seed remains dry, and replenish any uneaten food in a few weeks. Finches can feed without being distracted by other feeders if they are served nyjer seed in a tube or mesh feeder hung away from the others.
Finches are attracted to sunflower seeds in their shells and as out-of-shell meats. Because sunflower seeds attract many species, including some large unwanted birds and squirrels, they are best fed in tube feeders that enable only small species to perch on the feeder or enter the feeding chamber.
Bonus: Safflower Seed
Some finches also love safflower seeds besides sunflower and nyjer seeds. Safflower is an annual thistle with brilliant orange and yellow blooms grown for its oil. Seeds from this plant are somewhat smaller than sunflower seeds, yet they have a high concentration of protein and fat. Besides protecting the flesh, the hard white shell also has a slightly bitter flavor. As a result, fewer finches are attracted to the seed.
Fill a finch tray with nyjer and sunflower seeds along with some other seeds to attract finches to your yard or yard bird feeder. If you use this strategy, flocks of finches will visit your feeder again and again.
Finches Feeding and Foraging Behavior
Finches like moving in tiny, loose groups rather than large groups. Groups of 5 to 12 birds appear to be most common type of flock. As a result, they usually arrive in groups rather than as individual birds when they go to the feeder.
They tend to be noisy and energetic at the feeder, singing, and chirping as well as hopping around. Although they are somewhat flighty, when pursued from the feeder by another bird, they will typically fly to another location on the feeder or to a neighboring perch. After that, they instantly return.
Finches chew on the seed husks in order to open them. The seed shell is then extracted and swallowed using their tongues. They only allow the seed shells to fall out the edges of their mouths. As a result, there are empty seed shells in the feeder trays or on the ground under the feeder when this occurs. On a regular basis, they should be removed.
Finches Diet Preference According to Their Specie
The majority of finches are granivorous, which means they consume both plant and animal material. American goldfinches, house finches, smaller goldfinches, Lawrence’s goldfinches, purple finches, and Cassin’s finches are among the most common Finch species.
Now, let’s look at the diet variations between some famous finches:
- The House Finch: Seeds, berries, grains, and green veggies are among house finches enjoy eating. They hunt for insects like as caterpillars, small larvae, and mealworms, among other things. House finches love thistle and sunflower seeds too.
- Cassin’s Finch: Cassin’s finches typically eat seeds, grains, berries, buds, and larvae, although they will also eat various other foods. In the summer, they consume a broad range of insects, but in the winter, they switch to a diet that includes fruits, greens (but only the leafy sections), and vegetables.
- The American Goldfinch: The foods American goldfinches consume include Nyjer seeds, sunflower seeds, a vast range of fruits, and green veggies. They can also be given a few human-made goodies, pellets, and freshwater to keep them hydrated and happy.
- Purple Finch: Purple finches mostly eat seeds from trees such as Nyjer, sunflower seeds, maple, and tree buds. They occasionally consume a variety of insects, including caterpillars and some larvae. Honeysuckles, apricots, and apples are some of their favorite fruits to consume in the wild.
- Lawrence’s Goldfinch: In common with smaller goldfinches, Lawrence’s goldfinches mostly feed on seeds. They also prey on various natural weeds and plants, especially peppergrass. Insects, new small tree shoots, and some tree stems are among the foods they like eating.
- The Lesser Goldfinch: Lesser goldfinches mostly feed on seeds, including sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and ever-popular thistle seeds. In addition to insects, new tree shoots, and some berries, they consume various other foods. During the hot summer months, they also require a great deal of water.
Best Finch Feeders to Serve Thistle Seed
Nyjer thistle seed is a favorite food of finches. If you’ve already selected the birdseed, it’s time to select the appropriate bird feeder.
Let’s have a look at some of the finch-friendly feeders that are available:
- Hopper Bird Feeder: Each of these feeders has a seed reservoir enclosed, almost like a small house, for the seeds. The food is delivered to the open feeding tray below by sliding down. When it rains, the seed remains dry, which is a significant advantage.
- Window Feeder: This feeder may attract a large number of finches to your window. It enables a broad range of finches, particularly golden finches, to eat seeds, veggies, sliced fruits, etc.
- Sock Finch Feeder: These feeders are an easy and economical way to feed your finch. Most of the time, the finches are fond of them. Birds will just cling to them to eat anything available. They may be cleaned, but it is better to substitute them when they get very dirty or damaged.
- Tubes Finch Feeder: This tube thistle feeder is sure to attract a large number of finches. It can contain up to 2-3 pounds of seed, ensuring that the birds have more than enough to eat. This is the primary type of finch feeder.
- Platform/Tray Feeders: They are also called tray feeders, are another type of feeder appropriate for finches. You may use this feeder to supply seeds, berries, veggies, fruits, and practically anything else you can think of in terms of nutrition.
How to Attract Finches to Your Feeders
To attract the species you choose to your yard, you must use the correct combination of finch feeders, finch seed, and environmental conditions.
- Choose the Proper Bird Feeder
While finches will eat from practically any feeder, the Finch Stations, Feeder Socks, and Feeder Tubes are the best feeders to use for finches in general.
- Select the Proper Seed
The majority of the finches’ diet consists of seeds. They are particularly fond of Nyjer Seeds and Sunflower Seeds (as discussed above). So give them a proper seed diet.
- Create a Warm and Inviting Environment
Growing particular plants in your yard might assist in attracting specific species to your yard. Finches prefer garden areas with broad, grassy fields-like space—plant grassy and weedy species and plants and flowers that produce many seeds.
Finches have been attracted to various plants, including cottonwood fluff, cattails, and milkweed, among others.