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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Goldfinches are arriving; what are you feeding them?

American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch



Some Goldfinches are here already, more are on the way.  When they arrive they're a dirty-yellow color, and are hungry for thistle.  However, the small black seed they like is NOT the same thing as the "thistle" that grows here in Texas.    Some call it "Nyjer" (nigh-jer) a trademarked name for the common birdseed you really want. It comes only from overseas.

This real thistle (or Nyjer) has a freshness length of only 6 or 7 months, since it has to be heated at Customs (250 degrees for 15 minutes) to kill off any unwanted seeds, which starts the process of it going stale. So, when given this year's seed, Goldfinches should eat it all, instead of throwing it on the ground. That's not the case if they're given last year's seed, or locally-grown "thistle".


Rufous Hummingbird
Some north Texans have seen hummingbirds in their yards - during the winter!  It's rare, but possible.

Our "customary" hummingbirds (the Ruby-throated and Black-chinned species) left here in early October. But the Rufous Hummingbird summers in the Pacific Northwest, and comes south for the winter. (And Texas is the "south") .

1 comment:

  1. My goldfinches like black oil sunflower seeds better than anything else, which makes life easier.

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