Goldfinch Report Is Good This Year!
I’ve made a goldfinch report at various times in the blog. I’ve written about years where the feeder traffic was enormous and other years where it was very sparse. There’s nothing really different about years except possibly the weather. I’ll talk about the reasons why I think the goldfinch report varies and some tips to make sure you’re getting as many as you can when they are abundant.
2017 Fall Goldfinch Activity
This year we’ve had quite a bit of very cold weather here in Middle TN. This has caused a big increase in feeding of all feeder birds in my back yard. Not the least of which are the goldfinches.
Up until winter, goldfinch traffic was hit or miss. Some days it would be fairly consistent and then they would disappear for a few days without warning. This happened without any change in temperatures. Nor was it at the time they usually have gone away to ravage the plants and flowers that have seeded. I literally could not tell from one day to the next what I would see out there.
The weird part was that it was true almost across the board with all my feeder birds. Especially in the fall. If it was cooler one day (not cold, cool) the traffic would pick up. If the temps warmed up even ten degrees it was like they weren’t concerned with my feeders at all.
Feeder Activity From Holidays to Now
Like I had mentioned earlier, we’ve had some really cold weather that set in for more than a day or two. This has caused a literal explosion of feeding, especially the goldfinches. I have two upside-down thistle feeders and a chickadee chip feeder just for them. Every day they are emptying the chip feeder (their favorite food in my observation) and making a noticeable dent in the upside-down feeders as well.
I can almost always tell when the chip feeder is empty without even looking at it. How? Because they are mobbing the thistle feeders, the squirrel proof sunflower seed feeder and even kicking around beneath my squirrel proof peanut feeder! Both my wife and I have remarked we can’t remember a recent time when it was this busy even during the winter.
The Way To Get More Goldfinches At Your Feeders
I know I’ve written about this before but it bears repeating as well as revising. Here’s what I recommend:
- Get yourself a chickadee sunflower chip feeder and place it close to your back door so you can see who’s eating from it.
- Don’t forget to offer clean water every day. Water is one of the easiest ways to increase feeder traffic. If you can, add water near where you place their feeders. We have a bath on our patio near the chip feeder and it gets a LOT of use by goldfinches.
- Keep your feeders clean! If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your feeders they need it! I have seen goldfinch activity pick up when nothing changed but the feeder being cleaned. They are finicky that way. Take my word for it.
- Make sure you offer thistle in at least one tube feeder that house finches don’t prefer. Upside-down is best.
- If ANY of your seed is old, chuck it! They won’t eat it. This means if the thistle is not shiny or your sunflower chips looks mushy.
- Spend five to ten minutes just watching your backyard. Especially early morning to early afternoon. They are not big late afternoon feeders.
- If you can’t observe them yourself, set up a camera to take timed exposures throughout the day.
Give Me YOUR Goldfinch Report
Leave me a comment below and tell me what kind of numbers you’re seeing, where you’re located and what your winter has been like so far.
I love these little birds and try to do whatever I can to get more of them every year. I’d like to help you do the same.