Thistle or Nyjer® seed is a popular seed choice offered at bird feeders. Finches particularly love thistle because it’s high in oil and provides them with a great source of energy. Finch feeders are specifically designed with small, thin ports to hold thistle seed. Perky-Pet® and NO/NO® offer many different finch feeder options so you can keep your backyard finches full and happy. Browse our selection below to find a finch feeder today.
Finches are huge fans of thistle - aka Nyjer® seed. Although popular, thistle can be quite pricey. Luckily, Perky-Pet® and NO/NO® offer feeders that are designed only to hold thistle seed. Because thistle has such a small kernel, it easily can fall out of regular bird feeder ports. Instead, you will need a feeder with ports that have a tiny, slit-like opening so you don’t waste your expensive thistle seed.
Finches are known to be clinging birds. They have an uncanny ability to cling to the sides of feeders while eating instead of perching. Some species, like the American Goldfinch, can even eat while hanging upside down! Because of this special seed and the finch’s love for thistle, we have a whole selection of feeders designed just for finches!
Why Offer Thistle?
Thistle seed is an extremely nutritious seed for birds. The high oil content of the seed provides loads of energy that these tiny creatures need. Once the oiliness dries out from the seed, it loses its attractiveness to birds. That’s why it’s important not to overfill thistle feeders and always store unused thistle seed in an airtight container. It also helps to give your feeder a little shake every day to jostle up the seed to prevent seed clumps and mold from forming.
An added bonus when choosing to offer thistle is that squirrels prefer thistle less than most other types of bird seed. That’s right, squirrels will likely leave your finch feeders alone if you choose to offer 100% Nyjer® or thistle seed!
Finch Feeder Styles
There are a few different types of finch feeders to choose from. Below we explain a little about the different types and what makes them unique.
Tube – Tube finch feeders are similar to tube bird feeders in shape and functionality. However, they differ in the port size needed to hold thistle seed. To accommodate for the small seed shape, tube finch feeders have very small openings to prevent the thistle from spilling all over the ground. Tube finch feeders can have 2 or more ports for feeding multiple birds, and some options may even come with a tray attached to the bottom of the feeder for catching any seed that might be dropped.
Upside Down Tube – Goldfinches are one type of finch that can eat upside down. Upside down tube finch feeders cater particularly to these types of finches. Instead of having the perch placed underneath the port like on a regular tube feeder, these feeders have the perch positioned over top of the port. This allows only birds that are upside down eaters to be able to access the seed.
Rotating Port – Finch feeders with rotating ports are yet another unique advantage offered by Perky-Pet® feeders. Rotating port feeders give you the ability to decide if you want to have the perch below the ports to provide thistle to all finches, or above the ports to have a feeder just for those finches that can eat upside down.
2-in-1 Tube – Perky-Pet® offers quite a few tube feeders that have ports with a special 2-in-1 functionality. This gives you the opportunity to offer any kind of seed you want! If one week you decide to offer thistle, and the next week you want to offer black oil sunflower seed, simply change the port from the small slit opening to the large opening, and you’re ready to go. Talk about flexibility!
Mesh – Mesh feeders work perfectly for clinging birds including finches! Instead of having a few ports like tube feeders do, the whole surface area of a mesh feeder is one big port. Birds can cling anywhere on a mesh feeder and pull out the seed they desire. NO/NO® produces an assortment of mesh finch feeders that are made of all metal and have a small diamond opening to keep the tiny thistle seeds from falling out.
Finch Sacks – Finch sacks, also commonly referred to as thistle sock finch feeders, function very similarly to mesh finch feeders. These sacks have a large surface area for birds to cling to similar to mesh feeders. However, they are made from a softer fabric mesh instead of a metal mesh, making them much lighter in weight.