Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Great Goldfinch Mystery

A few months ago I bought one of those bird feeders designed to supply goldfinches with nyjer seeds. Janet put me onto it, so I bought the feeder together with a bag of nyjer seed, filled the feeder right to the top and hung it in the magnolia tree in the back garden.

Nothing much happened for weeks, but eventually we saw the occasional goldfinch pecking at the feeder. As they are such pretty birds, we were delighted.


What we didn’t know was the as far as nyjer seeds are concerned, goldfinches are vacuum cleaners with feathers. Forget mental calculations about how much seed a tiny goldfinch can ingest without violating a scientific law of some kind. There is as far as I can tell, no physical limit to their capacity for nyjer seed.

Either that or the little sods are selling it back to the shop.


Angus Dei said...

There seems to be a dearth of all garden birds dahn 'ere in 'Ampshire, the seeds and fat balls have been untouched for months:(

James Higham said...

Now that's very, very interesting. I was into bird feeders too [mainly blue tits] and noted the passing parade. So they're rarer now - hmmm.

A K Haart said...

Angus and James - I'm no expert, but there are lots of mature trees round our garden and I think that makes a difference. Also lots of old walls, sheds and nooks and crannies full of insects.

Macheath said...

Don't know about goldfinches, but I'm fed up with the sparrow who turns up regularly at our bird feeder and chucks most of the contents out over his shoulder.

This spillage means we have several pigeons permanently hanging around on the offchance, as well as some interesting weeds growing in the flower bed underneath.

A K Haart said...

Mac - we get that with both pigeons and doves. The local sparrowhawk is interested too!