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Diary: October 2003

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New nyger feeder an instant hit with goldfinches

Sunday 26th October 2003 in the garden diary...
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On the RSPB's 'Feed the Birds Day', I introduced a new type of bird food to my garden: Nyger (or Niger) seeds.
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Nyger seeds have been on sale as wild bird food for a number of years, but I have never before tried them. These tiny thistle-like seeds are best dispensed from a feeder specially designed for the job, so I splashed out 10 for a good small model. Within a matter of hours of putting the feeder up in the garden, both available feeding 'ports' were being used by goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) with three more impatiently awaiting their turn! Goldfinches are known to be especially fond of nyger seeds and it was for them that I bought the feeder. I have had occasional visits from goldfinches at my general purpose feeder for some time, but I was still a little taken aback at the speed with which they found the new feeder (and the rate at which the seeds disappeared!). I have also seen greenfinches (Carduelis chloris) on the feeder, but their thicker bills are not so well adapted to either the seed or the feeder.

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