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Tube Bird Feeders and Goldfinches

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has reported that record numbers of goldfinches have been seen in British gardens recently. In December 2014 Goldfinches were seen in 61% of gardens whose owners were participating in the BTO Garden Birdwatch survey. This compares to an average of 52% in the last ten years.

New Feeding Survey

The was keen to know why this could be. A goldfinch feeding survey was initiated specifically to determine what is attracting so many of these birds to our gardens. Between November 2015 and February 2016 an excellent 5,183 households across the country took part in the goldfinch feeding survey to help the BTO discover which foods were attracting the birds.

Participants simply had to observe goldfinches feeding for a period of two minutes and then report what they had seen to the BTO. Feeding habits can change across the season and so participants were encouraged to report as many sightings as they could.

Hanging Tube Bird Feeders

It is clear that the goldfinch is one of the species which is making more use of garden feeding stations. They enjoy taking food from hanging feeders such as tube bird feeders. 70% more goldfinch sightings are being reported in the annual BTO Garden Birdwatch survey than 20 years ago. The goldfinch feeding survey was then evolved to study their eating habits as opposed to their numbers.

Survey Results

Preliminary results of this survey indicate that goldfinches now prefer feeding on the supplementary food provided in gardens rather than the natural food available in the same gardens. Their favourite food proved to be sunflower hearts with nyjer seeds also being extremely popular. Goldfinches used to head overwhelmingly for the and so it appears that their tastes are changing. Interestingly, the birds each appeared to have a definite preference for one seed or the other. They rarely visited both in the gardens where the seeds were offered in separate tube bird feeders.

How to Spot a Goldfinch

Perhaps goldfinches are visiting your garden. Have you seen them? They are colourful birds which it is always a delight to see. Goldfinches are small birds with black crowns and white cheeks. They have red chins and foreheads and their bodies are a golden or tawny brown. They have white rumps and bellies. Their wings are mostly black but have a bold yellow band. Males and females are very similar in appearance but the red foreheads of the males extend further behind their eyes.

If you would like to attract more goldfinches to your garden then it is clear that you should provide sunflower hearts and nyjer seed as these are by far their favourite foods. You can find both at Little Peckers and at the lowest prices together with the tube bird feeders that you need.


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