Is there a difference between thistle seed and nyjer seed?

Asked By: Maicol Pamplona | Last Updated: 8th January, 2020
Category: hobbies and interests birdwatching
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Nyjer seed resembles small grains of wild rice and is highly desirable by many finches for its high fat and protein content. Nyjer has another name, thistle, which sometimes alarms people. On the contrary, nyjer is not a thistle at all.

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Furthermore, what kind of birds eat thistle seed?

Those that particularly enjoy thistle are goldfinches, Cassin's finches, house and purple finches, pine siskins and redpolls. Finches are squatty, colorful birds with short, stout beaks and a wide range of hues.

Subsequently, question is, what does nyjer seed grow into? Nyger seed grows into Thistles. That is what Goldfinches love so much.

Similarly, you may ask, does thistle seed get old?

This is a big mistake. Old seed left at the bottom of the feeder will gather moisture, turn moldy and eventually infect the fresh seed. I've had customers bring in their thistle feeder because the birds have stopped coming. They fail to notice the grossness of the seed inside.

Do finches eat the whole thistle seed?

Nyjer seed lasts longer than other food for two reasons: Only finches, chickadees, and doves will be eating your nyjer seed. Most other birds will leave it alone. 2. Nyjer seed is so small that it takes a while for finches to eat it all.

39 Related Question Answers Found

Is it OK to put cayenne pepper in bird seed?

Spice It Up!
And you don't want to feed those glorified bandits anyway. Guess what can? Sprinkle some cayenne pepper or a similar spice onto your birdseed before you put it out. Birds will eat the seed just fine, but squirrels will smell the heat and stay well clear.

Does nyjer seed attract rodents?

Squirrels (generally speaking) don't eat thistle seed, but mice do. Be sure that you don't allow thistle seed to reach the ground either. Recapture the Seed. Modify your feeders so that spilled food gets caught by a basin or tray before reaching the ground.

Does thistle bird seed cause weeds?

Niger seed used to be called thistle, but it is not the noxious thistle weed we see growing on roadsides. It typically will not germinate under your feeders since the USDA requires that all niger seed imported to this country be heat-treated to sterilize the seed.

Is nyjer the same as Thistle?

Nyjer seed resembles small grains of wild rice and is highly desirable by many finches for its high fat and protein content. Nyjer has another name, thistle, which sometimes alarms people. On the contrary, nyjer is not a thistle at all.

Will birds eat wet seed?

When birdseed gets wet, the seeds may begin germinating and sprouting. Birds will not eat sprouted seed, so the seed not only goes to waste, but it may be tossed from the feeder where it will sprout in the lawn.

How do birds eat seeds?

Some birds may rip or shred food such as fruit or prey, or they will use their bills to break up harder chunks of nuts or large seeds. In some cases, birds will beat their food against a rock or branch to help break it into pieces, and birds may even use their talons to hold food as they break it up.

How do you pronounce Nyjer?

The name was trademarked as Nyjer ® in 1998 by the Wild Bird Feeding Industry, however, to clarify proper pronunciation (NYE-jerr). Many birders also call it thistle seed, but Nyjer is not related to thistle plants, flowers, or seeds.

How can I attract more birds?

Simultaneously offering sunflower, Nyjer®, peanuts, fruit & jelly, suet, and mealworms will attract the greatest variety of bird species to your birdscape. You can also purchase bird feeders and birdseed blends that increase the attractiveness of your backyard for specific bird species you're interested in attracting.

Will birds eat old seed?

Birdseed does have a long shelf life, but only if stored properly. Seed that isn't stored well can spoil and be invaded by pests such as mice, rats, larvae, silverfish, earwigs, or moths. As seed gets old and dries out, it is also less nutritious and will not attract as many birds.

Does Nyjer thistle go bad?

Niger seed can indeed go bad, especially if it has been exposed to moisture. That said, it also takes birds a bit of time to learn to appreciate niger seed, although the finch species were never slow to pick up the niger in my experience. Maybe just buy a small amount of fresh niger seed and use that in your feeders.

Why did finches stop coming to my feeder?

Those species that have a very specific diet or specific stopping points during migration, are at the greatest risk of extinction should those food sources dry up. Neighbors: Another reason your birds may have stopped coming to your feeders is that your neighbors have started feeding birds and, feeding them well.

How do you store thistle seeds?

Seed should be stored in a cool and dry place. This is essential to preserve freshness. Store it in cooler areas of your house, if possible. Store outside only if it is cooler weather and make sure it is not in a location where animals can get into it.

Do bears eat thistle seed?

Choose Alternative Foods: Bears are most attracted to suet and seed feeders, but will also sip at leaking nectar feeders or try feeders where the fruit is offered. Instead of offering these treats to birds, offer bitter-tasting safflower seed or Nyjer and plant natural foods instead of feeders.

Is thistle seed bad for dogs?

Reports of pet dogs (and even coyotes) consuming bird seed are not uncommon. Fresh seed probably won't cause too much harm unless it is eaten in large quantities. The chemical is harmful and sometimes fatal to birds and can be detrimental to pets and humans as well.

Can humans eat niger seeds?

Other than bird feed, niger seed can be used for human consumption. You won't be using it in the same way as our feathered friends do though. You will find the oil and the seed in recipes for curries, chutneys and other foods. Niger seed also offers plenty of medical uses.

Why would birds stop coming to feeder?

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the reason birds haven't been coming to feeders is because of the overabundance of natural foods out in the environment. This fall has been unseasonably warm and dry. When natural food is in abundance, their need for supplements to their diet decreases.

Do birds eat niger seed in the winter?

Attracting Birds With Nyjer
For many birders, offering Nyjer in the winter is the best option, as many seed-eating birds are year-round residents but natural seed supplies are scarce in winter, so thistle seed feeders will be more popular.