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Finch feeding

I'm very happy to have had my first goldfinch on the feeder since last autumn, and chuffed that now there's two of them, plus a greenfinch. 
Are those finches heavy eaters?
I ask because I was filling the feeders every few days for the sparrows, now they're ⅔ empty in the morning - I work nights so I have no idea what goes on until 11 or 12 o'clock, so I don't know if the finches are eating it all, or if the jackdaws are bombing them again.



  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,810
    Goldfinches will empty your feeder very effectively. They are messy eaters, spilling as much as they eat but it gets hoovered up by the ground feeders so isn't wasted.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,348
    Goldies love sunflower hearts, sparrows love everything.  :D
    Jackdaws are less likely to be visiting a feeder, although they'll use a ground feeder. We have a huge amount of jackdaws in this area, but it's a very rare event to see them in the garden.
    The goldies have been thin on the ground here over winter, mainly because there's been plenty of food elsewhere - lots of suitable habitat round here for them, andit hasn't been that cold, so lots of viable seedheads etc. A couple appeared yesterday though.  That may be the case with 'yours'.
    Greenfinches are around here too, but we don't get them in the garden much either. We got them slightly more often when we lived round the corner from this house. We were close to a little bit of woodland there, which suited them well, and we're also very near a small NT garden, so there are lots of birds that don't visit the garden often, but I know they're around, and see them regularly when I'm out for a walk.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Balgay.HillBalgay.Hill Posts: 1,074
    I get very few finches at my feeders, yet there are loads about a mile away at a local park.
    I've tried every feed going, but it doesn't seem to attract them. Local cats visit my garden, so i think that scares them off.
    Sunny Dundee
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 1,576
    Thanks for that @steephill, they're going to cost me a fortune then. 😄
    I had a look through binoculars yesterday and didn't see them dropping any bits - I only use sunflower hearts in the hanging feeders as the sparrows threw half the seed out, so maybe there's not much dropped - but yes, the doves are my clean up crew. 
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,952
    Do you think the feeder is being emptied at night? If so, it's a rodent. That happened when I had a feeder near a tree so I moved it out of jumping distance.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 1,576
    @Balgay.Hill I've been feeding the birds for years here, and never had more than a passing glance from a goldfinch until last year! So you might have to wait a while!
    A lot of people have hanging feeders round here, so they have a lot of choice, but their preferred feed may not be available if someone has died or stopped feeding for some reason. 
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 1,576
    @Fairygirl yes I only put sunflower hearts in hanging feeders now, as the jackdaws raided them for seed - one would fly, cling and drink until he fell off, while the rest cleared up the spillage. I'd know that raucous encouragement sound anywhere, lol! It was funny, but I'm not made of money. 😄
  • floraliesfloralies Posts: 2,578
    @Slow-worm if the hanging feeder's only have sunflower hearts they will empty very quickly! Up until this winter i was going through nearly 50kg of hearts but they are much too expensive at the moment so the goldfinches have to make do with some mixed in with other grains, so that's cut their numbers down unfortunately.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,583
    We have goldfinches on our feeders but this year not so many.We give them niger seeds instead of sunflower hearts as these go in hours.  However the long tail tits have been coming in large groups and staying longer. Sparrows? Always there and having a go at each other. Green finches? Can't remember the last time we saw any.
    The Greater spotted woodpeckers arrive and all hell is let loose. The starlings come in small numbers and they do have a go at getting as much as possible. We watched a stock dove on the bamboos (the feeders hang off them) trying to work out how to get to the food. First time we have seen one trying this. It didn't succeed. The blue and great tits are always at the feeders. It is great to see them but yes @Slow-worm it can be expensive.
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 1,576
    Yes, I have a 20kg bag of seed every 3-4 weeks, plus oats, sunflowers and peanuts. 
    Our sparrows come and go constantly, they rarely squabble and are an absolute joy to watch, I love them. 20 at last count, and despite being on and off the 2 feeders of sunflowers all day, they didn't go down very fast. Maybe I'll just put a bowl and spoon out for the others. 😄

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