Dec 18, 2019 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, October 2019

Ask Birdsquatch: How to Keep Nyjer Seed Dry?

Nyjer is a favorite backyard food of goldfinches, pine siskins, common redpolls, house finches, and other small-billed seed-eating birds.
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Dear Birdsquatch:

Do you have any ideas on how to keep Nyjer/thistle seed dry when it rains or snows? Thanks.

—Martin S., Yorktown Heights, New York

Dear Martin,

I have learned some lessons about Nyjer over the years. First of all, it really gets stuck between my teeth! Pthooo! I never have that problem with sunflower hearts.

Second, it is unfortunate that bags of Nyjer do not come with expiration dates. The stuff dries out after a few months, and the finches lose interest in it. And when it gets damp inside the tube feeder, it becomes worthless. Once dry, it's spoiled. Throw it out right away.

So, your question is a good one. The best advice I can offer on this topic is to fill your Nyjer feeder every morning with only as much seed as the birds will eat that day. Offering less seed more often reduces the odds that it will spoil in the feeder. If wet weather is in the forecast, offer even less. Healthy birds are adept at finding new food sources when their regular sources are depleted, so don't worry that they'll starve if you discontinue the buffet for a day or two. They won't.



About Birdsquatch

Birdsquatch is WBB's tall, hairy, and slightly stinky columnist. He is a bigfoot who has watched birds all his life. His home range is unknown.


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