Backyard Chirper

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How to Attract American Goldfinches

Many bird species have been harmed by the expansive and widespread activity of humans: the American Goldfinch isn’t one of them. In fact, according to Massachusetts Audubon Society, American Goldfinches are one of the few species that have actually benefited from humans expanding, since we’ve created a lot of new habitat for the birds.

Found throughout the United States, the American Goldfinch has grown in abundance, making their frenetic behavior and vibrant-yellow plumage beloved backyard sightings. Because of their propensity for being around humans, it’s easy to get them to come around your backyard by doing a few simple things.

Set up seed feeders with nyger or sunflower seeds

Goldfinches are primarily seed eaters with occasional forays into the world of insects. The two best ways to attract goldfinches to your yard is with feeders filled with nyger or sunflower seeds. Nyger, which is the same as thistle, and sunflower seeds are the food of choice for finches coming into your backyard. They usually eat from traditional feeders, but there are also finch feeders designed specifically to bring in finches to your yard.

If you’re having a particularly tough time bringing in goldfinches because bigger birds are bullying them out of their food, you could get feeders that only allow American Goldfinches to feed like the Perky-Pet Upside Down Finch Feeder. The design requires birds to feed upside, something only goldfinches could accomplish at this feeder.

153027Plant seed-producing flowers

I’ve written about how providing specific types of plants creates a long-term bird-friendly yard, and it remains the case here. By putting certain plants and flowers in your yard that goldfinches love, you’ll establish an environment that will keep birds coming back, without having to break your wallet. Here’s a good discussion of plants and flowers goldfinches are attracted to.

Provide cover

The natural habitat of goldfinches is the edges of grasslands and open areas, which means they love places that offer them protection in the form of low-growing shrubbery. Plant some bushes and shrubs on your property, or don’t trim them as much, and the finches will be more likely to come to your yard than if it’s open and bare.

Put a water feature in your yard

With summer coming, having a water feature in your yard will make it attractive, not just to goldfinches but all types of birds. You don’t have to build a large fountain (though you can if you want), but something small like First Nature’s Globe hanging bird bath will do the trick for goldfinches.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.

1 Comment

  1. its a beautiful small and smart bird.

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