There are many finch species in North America, including the American goldfinch, the house finch, purple finch, and more. Bright yellow American goldfinches are one of the favorites of backyard birders. They are entertaining to watch, with vibrant, beautiful feathers, and they are relatively easy to attract to feeders.
American goldfinches molt their feathers twice a year, once in the winter and once before mating season. These bright yellow feathers are not always as bright. In the winter, they become a dull green or gray making them harder to spot. But they can still be around all year, not just in spring and summer, because not all finches migrate in the winter. Most regions of the United States can feed finches all year long. With these tips, you’ll be able to attract finches to your yard in any season.
Kaytees' wild bird experts have determined the best tips and tricks for drawing finches to feeders. The right combination of bird feeders, bird seed, and environmental factors is the key to attracting the species you want to see.
Pick the Right Bird Feeder
While finches will eat off of nearly any feeder, the best feeders to use are the Finch Stations, Feeder Socks, and Feeder Tubes. Because finches are smaller birds, they are able to access the seeds in socks, but these are all designed to hold food that finches love.
Use the Right Seed
The American goldfinch’s diet consists of mostly seeds. They love Nyjer® Seed and Sunflower Seeds. These seeds are high in oil and easy to eat with their smaller beaks. Because finches prefer the combo of Nyjer® seed and socks, this duo is your best bet for attracting a bright yellow feathered friend.
Kaytee also created a finch blend that is perfect for these birds called the Wild Finch Blend. It is designed to attract finches including American goldfinches, pine siskins, purple finches, lesser goldfinches, and redpolls.
If you are looking for the ultimate blend that is preferred by most finches, pick up the Ultra Wild Finch Blend, which is a combination of four seed ingredients to draw those finches to your feeders.
Create a Welcoming Environment
Growing specific plants can help attract certain birds to your yard. Finches like backyards that have open, grassy field-like space. Plant grassy, weedy species, as well as plants and flowers with many seeds.
Goldfinches are known to enjoy thistle plants. They eat the thistle plant seeds and use the mature thistle down in their nests during breeding season. Other plants that have been known to attract finches include cottonwood fluff, cattails, and milkweed.
And, as always, the essential environmental factor is water. Since finches stick around all year long, they will be looking for running water that doesn’t freeze. For the few that do migrate, they will need water along their journey and when they land at their destination after a long flight. Offering the winning combination of feeders full of the right seeds and plant species will make your backyard a finch hot spot.