Monday, August 16, 2010
Part of my Saturday morning routine is to fill the bird feeders. (I’d fill them more frequently, but the squirrels are ingenious and they keep finding ways to get the seed intended for the birds.) But, the feeders have gone untouched this weekend. The birds, including the yellow finches, prefer the seed from the flowers in the gardens this time of year!
I use solely the black oiler sunflower seeds in the feeders. The chickadees, sparrows, and cardinals come in droves. The yellow finches prefer a smaller seed than the black oilers, so they’re not typically visitors to my feeders. I haven’t been brave enough to try the Nyjer seed, which I have been assured is NOT a new name for thistle, but is a different seed entirely. I had a nasty seed spill at the St Paul house and spent YEARS digging thistle from the yard and gardens there.
I first spotted a yellow finch on the Anise Hyssop last week. I couldn’t believe the plant was strong enough to hold the bird up. Yesterday, there were several of them in the Natives Garden, happily munching on the Anise Hyssop, the Coneflowers, and the volunteer sunflowers. I stopped weeding and got a few shots.
Later in the day, I was visiting a neighbor’s garden and the finches were active in her garden, too! One was doing a nice imitation of a Nuthatch, head pointing downward on a giant sunflower. I don’t remember seeing the yellow finches in the garden last year. Maybe there weren’t enough plants to attract and feed them. I’m glad they’re visiting the gardens. And, if anyone has tried Nyjer with success can let me know, I might try a small port feeder next year so I don’t have to wait until mid summer to see the yellow finches.