What Birds Like Nyjer Seed

Last Updated on April 19, 2023 by

As an avian nutrition expert, I have seen a lot of confusion and misinformation about what birds like nyjer seed. It’s not uncommon for bird enthusiasts to assume that all birds are attracted to the small black seeds, but this is simply not true. In fact, there are only certain species of birds that prefer nyjer seed over other types of birdseed.

Nyjer seed (also known as thistle or Niger seed) originates from Ethiopia and is a popular choice among backyard bird feeders due to its high oil content and nutritional value. However, it’s important to note that not all birds are able to digest these tiny seeds. In this article, we will explore which bird species enjoy nyjer seed and why it may be a beneficial addition to your backyard feeding station.

What Is Nyjer Seed?

What is Nyjer Seed?

Have you ever heard of Nyjer seed? Also known as thistle, it’s a tiny black seed that’s popular among certain species of birds. Though small in size, this seed packs a powerful punch when it comes to avian nutrition.

Nyjer seed originates from Ethiopia and was once used for medicinal purposes before being introduced to the bird feeding market. It’s rich in oil and protein, making it an excellent source of energy for wild birds all year round.

But what sets Nyjer seed apart from other types of birdseed? Unlike sunflower seeds or peanuts, which are enjoyed by many different bird species, Nyjer seed has a more exclusive clientele. So which feathered friends prefer this superfood?

Which Species Of Birds Prefer Nyjer Seed?

Nyjer seed, also known as thistle seed, is a popular food for many species of birds. While it may seem like an unusual choice compared to more common birdseed blends, Nyjer seed has unique nutritional benefits that make it a favorite among certain types of birds.

One such species that prefers Nyjer seed is the American Goldfinch. These bright yellow birds are commonly found in gardens and fields, and their diet consists mainly of seeds. In fact, they rely on seeds so heavily that they will often delay breeding until late summer when plants have produced enough seeds to support them. The small size and high oil content of Nyjer seed make it an ideal source of nutrition for these tiny finches.

Another bird species that enjoys Nyjer seed is the Pine Siskin. These small brown birds are similar in appearance to goldfinches but have distinctive yellow wing markings. They are highly nomadic and travel in flocks during migration season, seeking out areas with abundant food sources. Nyjer seed provides them with a high-energy snack that helps fuel their long flights across North America.

Lastly, the Common Redpoll is another bird species that loves feeding on Nyjer seed. These cute little birds have red caps and black chins and can be found throughout Canada and Alaska during the winter months. Like other finches, they rely heavily on seeds to survive harsh winters and find Nyjer seed particularly attractive due to its high fat content.

As we’ve seen, several bird species prefer nyjer seed for its rich nutritional value. But what exactly makes this tiny black seed so beneficial? Let’s explore some of the reasons why you should consider adding nyjer seed to your backyard feeder rotation next!

The Benefits Of Feeding Nyjer Seed To Birds

As we learned in the previous section, nyjer seed is a popular choice among bird enthusiasts. In fact, according to a recent survey by the National Bird-Feeding Society, over 80% of finch and sparrow species prefer nyjer seed over other types of birdseed.

But why do these birds love nyjer seed so much? Well, for one thing, it’s rich in oil content which provides them with essential fatty acids that are crucial for their overall health and well-being. Additionally, its small size makes it easy for smaller beaked birds to eat and digest.

So if you’re looking to attract more finches and sparrows to your backyard feeder, consider adding some nyjer seed to the mix! Not only will you be providing them with a tasty treat but also contributing to their long-term health.

Moving forward from this topic on the benefits of feeding nyjer seed to birds, let’s dive into how it compares to other types of birdseed available on the market today.

Nyjer Seed Vs. Other Types Of Birdseed

Nyjer seed is a highly nutritious birdseed that many bird species enjoy. It contains high amounts of protein, fat, and fiber, making it an excellent choice for birds during the winter months when food sources are scarce.

Compared to other types of birdseed, nyjer seed can be more expensive due to its small size and the fact that it often needs to be imported. However, its nutritional value makes it worth the investment if you want to attract specific bird species to your feeder.

Keep in mind that not all birds will eat nyjer seed. Some common nyjer-loving birds include finches, siskins, and redpolls. If you want to attract these birds to your feeder, there are certain strategies you can use to make sure they find their way to your yard.

How To Attract Nyjer-Loving Birds To Your Feeder

When it comes to attracting Nyjer-loving birds to your feeder, it’s important to choose the right feeder for the job. Position it near shrubs or trees, but not too close, and make sure it’s away from windows, cats, and other potential predators. You also want to make sure it’s at the right height, so the birds can easily access the nyjer seed. Lastly, keep it clean, as birds will stay away if the feeder is dirty.

Choose The Right Feeder

Are you wondering which feeder is best to attract nyjer-loving birds? Let me help guide you in choosing the right one. First, consider the size of your feathered friends – finches and siskins are small birds that prefer smaller feeders with tiny perches. A tube feeder with multiple feeding ports would be ideal for these species. Additionally, a sock-style mesh feeder can also work well as it allows several birds to feed at once.

Another factor to consider when selecting a bird feeder is its durability and functionality. You want a feeder that will last through different seasons and weather conditions. A metal or heavy-duty plastic feeder is recommended as they are sturdy and easy to clean. Moreover, make sure the lid fits tightly so seeds stay dry during rain or snowfall.

Lastly, placement of your chosen feeder should not be overlooked. It’s important to place it 5-6 feet above ground level where it can easily be seen by passing birds but out of reach from predators like cats and squirrels. Positioning it close to bushes or trees provides cover for resting while waiting their turn at the feeder.

In conclusion, choosing the right type of bird feeder can significantly increase your chances of attracting nyjer-loving birds to your yard. Remember to take into account size, durability, and proper placement when making your selection. Happy bird watching!

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Position Feeder Properly

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of feeder size and durability, let’s move on to proper placement. Placing your bird feeder in the right location can make all the difference when it comes to attracting nyjer-loving birds.

Firstly, you want to ensure that your feeder is positioned at a height of 5-6 feet above ground level. This will allow passing birds to easily spot the feeder while also keeping it out of reach from predators like cats and squirrels. Additionally, placing your feeder near trees or bushes provides cover for resting birds waiting their turn at the feeding ports.

Furthermore, consider the surrounding environment when choosing where to place your bird feeder. Nyjer-loving birds prefer open areas with clear sightlines so they can quickly identify potential threats while feeding. Avoid placing feeders near busy roads or buildings as this may deter birds from visiting.

Remember, proper placement of your bird feeder is just as important as its size and durability when trying to attract nyjer-loving birds. Keep these tips in mind and watch as more feathered friends flock to your yard!

Common Misconceptions About Nyjer Seed

Nyjer seed, also known as thistle seed, is a popular bird food that has gained widespread use among backyard bird enthusiasts. However, there are some common misconceptions about nyjer seeds that have led to confusion and false information being spread.

One of the biggest misunderstandings is that only finches will eat nyjer seed. While it’s true that finches are particularly fond of this tiny black seed, they’re not the only birds who enjoy it. Other species such as siskins, redpolls, and goldfinches are also attracted to nyjer seed.

Another misconception is that nyjer seed needs to be sterilized before offering it to birds. This is not necessary if the seed has been stored properly in a cool, dry place. Nyjer seeds can be prone to mold growth if exposed to moisture or high humidity levels. Thus, proper storage conditions are crucial for maintaining the quality of your nyjer seed.

Lastly, there’s a belief that adding supplements like vitamins or minerals to nyjer seed will make it more nutritious for birds. In reality, these additions aren’t needed since nyjer provides all the essential nutrients required by most songbirds.

  • Properly stored nyjer seed should be kept in an airtight container.
  • Avoid purchasing bulk quantities of nyjer unless you can store it safely.
  • Keep your feeding stations clean and avoid using damaged feeders.
  • Don’t mix old and new batches of nyjer together; always rotate out any remaining older stock before replenishing with fresh supply.

As with any type of birdseed or food product offered at bird feeding stations, proper handling and storage practices can greatly impact its usefulness and safety for wild birds. By understanding these common misconceptions about Nyger seeds along with following best practices around storing them correctly we can ensure our feathered friends get optimal nutrition from their diet while enjoying our gardens too!

When considering how best to handle your Nyjer seeds, it’s important to consider the storage conditions that will keep them fresh and free from spoilage. In the next section, we’ll explore some tips on how to store and handle Nyger seed effectively so you can ensure your backyard birds get the best possible nutrition from their food supply.

Tips For Storing And Handling Nyjer Seed

Despite common misconceptions about nyjer seed, it is actually a highly nutritious food source for many wild birds. But what specific types of birds enjoy this seed?

Nyjer seed is popular among finches, including American Goldfinches and House Finches. These small birds have beaks perfectly suited for extracting the tiny seeds from feeders or flowers. Additionally, Pine Siskins and Common Redpolls are known to flock to nyjer seed as well.

If you’re looking to attract these beautiful feathered friends to your backyard, consider offering a feeder full of fresh nyjer seed. Not only will you be providing them with valuable nutrients, but you’ll also get the joy of watching them flit back and forth between their feeding station and natural habitats nearby.

Bird Species Preferred Feeding Method Additional Notes
American Goldfinch Feeders or Flowers Males often have brighter yellow plumage in breeding season
House Finch Feeders or Ground Frequently seen around residential areas
Pine Siskin Feeders Only Often form large flocks during migration
Common Redpoll Feeders Only Known for their acrobatic feeding behavior

As an avian nutrition expert, I highly recommend incorporating nyjer seed into your bird-feeding routine if possible. However, it’s important to store and handle this type of seed properly in order to maintain its freshness and nutritional value. In the next section, we’ll explore some tips for doing just that while also discussing how nyjer seed can serve as a supplement to wild birds’ diets.

Nyjer Seed As A Supplement To Wild Birds’ Diets

The benefits of nyjer seed for wild birds are undeniable, as it is widely available, highly attractive, and nutritionally sound. Variety, storage, feeders, and pricing are all factors to consider when looking to supplement wild birds’ diets with nyjer seed. Cleanliness, convenience, safety, and quality are also important to ensure a desirable outcome. Ultimately, nyjer seed’s suitability, accessibility, and popularity make it an excellent choice for wild bird diets.


Are you looking for a nutritious supplement to add to the diets of wild birds? Look no further than nyjer seed! This tiny black seed is packed with essential nutrients that can benefit a variety of bird species.

One major benefit of feeding birds nyjer seed is its high protein content. Protein is important for maintaining and repairing tissues, as well as promoting healthy feathers and strong beaks. Many bird species, such as finches and sparrows, rely on insects as their primary source of protein. However, during times when insect populations are low or unavailable, nyjer seed can provide an excellent alternative.

In addition to protein, nyjer seed also contains high levels of fat, specifically omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats play a crucial role in brain function and immune system health. By including nyjer seed in your backyard feeders, you can help support the overall wellbeing of visiting birds and contribute to their long-term survival.


Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of feeding nyjer seed to wild birds, let’s discuss its availability. Nyjer seed is not a common crop and can be difficult to find in certain areas. However, it is typically available at specialty bird stores or online retailers.

It’s important to note that while nyjer seed may seem expensive compared to other types of birdseed, it lasts longer due to its small size and high nutrient content. Additionally, some manufacturers offer pre-packaged nyjer seed blends with added vitamins and minerals for even greater nutritional value.

If you’re having trouble finding nyjer seed in your area, don’t worry! There are other alternatives that can provide similar benefits. Black oil sunflower seeds are another excellent source of protein and healthy fats for birds. Additionally, suet cakes made from beef fat and mixed with grains or fruits can also be a great supplement to their diets.

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Overall, providing nutritious supplements like nyjer seed or black oil sunflower seeds can greatly benefit the health and survival of wild birds visiting your backyard feeders. By offering a variety of options and ensuring they have access to vital nutrients, you can help support these beautiful creatures for years to come.

Conclusion: Incorporating Nyjer Seed Into Your Bird-Feeding Routine

If you’re looking to attract specific bird species in your backyard, then incorporating nyjer seed into your feeding routine is a great idea. Nyjer seeds are small and black, and they come from the African yellow daisy plant. Here’s what you need to know about why birds love these tiny seeds:

  • Goldfinches: These bright yellow birds are one of the main reasons people start using nyjer seed in their feeders. They have beaks that are specifically designed for eating tiny seeds like nyjer, and they’ll happily flock to any feeder that has this type of food.

  • Pine Siskins: These finch-like birds travel in large flocks during the winter months, but they’ll also visit feeders year-round if there’s enough food available. Nyjer seed is a favorite among pine siskins because it’s high in fat and protein – two essential nutrients for surviving cold weather.

  • Common Redpolls: These small songbirds breed in the far north and migrate southward during the winter months. Like other finches, redpolls have small pointed beaks that allow them to extract tiny seeds from feeders. Offering nyjer seed can help attract them to your yard during migration season.

Incorporating nyjer seed into your bird-feeding routine isn’t difficult, but there are some things you should keep in mind. First, make sure you use a specialized thistle or sock feeder – these types of feeders prevent waste by limiting how much seed falls out onto the ground below. Second, be prepared for regular refilling since goldfinches and other birds will quickly empty out a fresh supply of nyjer seed! Finally, store your nyjer seed properly so it stays dry and free from mold or pests.

With its many health benefits and popularity among certain bird species, adding nyjer seed to your feeding regimen is definitely worth considering. Just remember to take care when selecting your feeder and seed supply, and you’ll be rewarded with plenty of feathered visitors to enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Nyjer Seed Safe For All Types Of Birds?

As an avian nutrition expert, I can assure you that nyjer seed is safe for most types of birds. However, it is important to note that not all birds will enjoy or benefit from this type of feed. It’s always best to research the specific dietary needs and preferences of your feathered friends before introducing any new food items into their diet. Additionally, while some species may love nyjer seed, others might prefer a different blend altogether. Ultimately, it’s crucial to provide a varied diet to ensure optimal health and happiness for our avian companions. So go ahead and offer up some nyjer seed as part of a balanced meal plan, but don’t forget to mix things up every once in a while!

Can Nyjer Seed Attract Unwanted Wildlife To My Bird Feeder?

Nyjer seed is a great source of nutrition for many birds, but it can also attract unwanted wildlife to your bird feeder. Animals like squirrels and raccoons are known to be attracted to the scent of nyjer seed, which can result in them raiding your bird feeder and scaring off the birds you intended to feed. To prevent this from happening, consider using specialized squirrel-proof or raccoon-proof bird feeders that will keep these animals at bay while still allowing access for your feathered friends.

How Often Should I Refill My Nyjer Seed Feeder?

It is recommended to refill your nyjer seed feeder every 3-4 days, especially during high bird activity seasons. This will ensure that the birds have a consistent source of food and keep coming back to your feeder. However, be mindful not to overfill the feeder as it can lead to spoilage and waste. Always clean your feeder before refilling to prevent mold growth or contamination. As an avian nutrition expert, I advise you to monitor the level of seed in your feeder and adjust accordingly based on the number of birds visiting and their consumption rate.

Can I Mix Nyjer Seed With Other Types Of Birdseed?

Mixing nyjer seed with other types of birdseed is not recommended as it may cause birds to pick and choose only their preferred seeds, leaving the rest untouched. Nyjer seed is a highly nutritious food that attracts specific species such as finches and siskins due to its high oil content. Mixing it with other seeds like sunflower or millet may dilute its nutritional value and diminish its appeal for these particular birds. Therefore, it’s best to offer nyjer seed in a separate feeder to maximize its benefits for those who love it. As an avian nutrition expert, I suggest sticking to one type of quality birdseed per feeder for optimal health and enjoyment of our feathered friends.

Does Nyjer Seed Have Any Nutritional Benefits For Birds?

As an avian nutrition expert, I must say that nyjer seed is a great choice for feeding birds. This tiny black seed packs a punch of nutritional benefits for our feathered friends. Nyjer seed is rich in oil and protein which are essential for maintaining the health of birds, especially during winter months when their bodies need more energy to keep warm. Plus, it’s easy to digest and won’t spoil quickly like other types of birdseed. So if you want to provide your backyard birds with a nutritious meal, don’t forget to include some nyjer seed in their diet! Now let me tell you about what birds love this little gem…


In conclusion, as an avian nutrition expert, I highly recommend nyjer seed for attracting a variety of birds to your feeder. This tiny black seed is particularly loved by finches, such as goldfinches and house finches, but can also attract other species like redpolls and siskins.

It’s important to note that while nyjer seed is safe for most birds, it may not be suitable for all. Some birds have trouble digesting the high oil content in nyjer seed, so keep an eye out for any signs of digestive issues or allergic reactions. Overall though, if you’re looking to add some diversity to your backyard bird watching experience, nyjer seed is definitely worth trying out! Remember the wise words of John James Audubon: "The more we study the more we discover our ignorance." …and the more we discover our ignorance, the more we realize how much there is left to learn and appreciate about the natural world around us."

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