Finch feeder question.

I bought 2 finch feeders, one in a redwood housing and one in a plastic tube. It appears that the only birds that feed on them are sparrows. I have not seen any Finches. What can I do to get rid of them feeding on the feeders and draw the finches? All the sparrows do is crap all over the place. I removed my feeders for the time being to stop them from coming to my yard. I live in Springfield, Illinois. Thanks for your opinions .
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What kind of finches are you trying to attract?
If goldfinches and pine siskins, get a thistle feeder that has openings so small that other birds can't get the seeds out.
Be aware that pine siskins tend to be irruptive, and that gold finches seem to go through phases -- for awhile they will eat nothing but thistle, then for awhile they won't touch it and favor black oil sunflower.
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Thanks for your replies. I was trying to attract mainly the yellow ones. The Finch feeders I have are ones I purchased from Menard's Home Center. One is a tall redwood narrow house type and the other is a clear plastic tube type with round yellow perches by each little slot.
wrote:

the
to
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Ace, since it is gettig a bit late in the year, and accordig to where you live, the goldfinch may not have their Spring and Summer plumage. Winter of 2000/2001 a whole flock of about30 or so rather drab greenish yellow breasted birds came to my feeders. Swamped them.. practically took them over. I looked at my bird book and they looked like the Vireos in my book..soooo...I thought they were Vireos.. found out later they were indeed Goldfinch in their winter clothing! cant always tell a bird by its cover <G> Leo

>
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Lee wrote:

The ones with good fashion sense don't wear white after Labor Day. <g>
--
Warren H.

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If you just want to feed Goldfinches, then get the feeder designed specifically for them. It is a tube feeder that feeds niger thistle--- but the kicker is that the slots are *below* the perches. It seems the Goldfinches are the only ones who can eat upside down. I've had a couple birds perch on mine on occasion, but it is usually filled up with Goldfinches.
I've really been blessed this year. I have 2 tube feeders [the goldfinch feeder & another for small birds] and a slab of suet. 2 pairs of cardinals, a pair of [remarkably well behaved] blue jays, a pair of Indigo Buntings, 6-7 mourning doves, and maybe a dozen goldfinches visit my feeders. Also an assortment of woodpeckers, chickadees & creepers. I've seen one grackle-- but no wrens or sparrows. [A pair of Orioles showed up for the Mulberries when they were ripe, but I couldn't interest them in oranges or grapes & they've moved on.]
[no luck at all with the Hummingbird feeder, though-- but as soon as the Bee Balm was open they showed up.]
Jim
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wrote:

We also have the upside-down finch feeders, the cheap plastic tube types. The lesser goldfinches have been back (Phoenix AZ) since mid August. They always leave for cooler regions in the summer but return when the nighttime and early morning temps begin to drop into the 70s. The house finches still came to the upside-down feeders and they can learn to do the upside down thing but can't hang in there as long as the goldfinches. We solved the problem by putting a cylinder of 1-inch chicken netting about a foot in diameter around the feeder (similar to the no-squirrel cages) and closing off the top and bottom. Then we had to add a 2nd netting cylinder around the first and offset it about 1/8 inch because the house finches could get through the openings in the first one. Last year we had as many as 10 goldfinches on the perches of two feeders at the same time while the house finches were hanging onto he netting and trying, unsuccessfully, to get in. We also still use the conventional rightside up feeders for other birds on the opposite side of the house well away from the finch feeders. Olin
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You went to so much work to exclude the house finches. They have to eat too. The longer you feed birds, the more you will see the beauty in all of them.
Marilyn in Ohio
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too.
them.
No. As I said in my post:
"... We also still use the conventional rightside up feeders for other birds on the opposite side of the house well away from the finch feeders. ..."
The house finches, sparrows et. al. now use the other feeders. And it really wasn't difficult. The other birds, house finches, sparrows and towhees were hogging the feeders and keeping the goldfinches away. The only birds we discourage are pigeons and grackles. Olin
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One thing you can try is remove the little metal perches from a tube feeder. The sparrows may not be able to hang on the feeder well enough to get seeds out.
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the
to
Are there any finches around to attract? What do you mean by "finch feeder". Is it one with small slits meant for use with niger or one with larger openings for sunflower seeds? If it is one with larger opening, there is no way to keep the sparrows off. If it is one with of the thistle (niger) feeders with small slits, try hanging the feeder upside down. This makes it more difficult for birds to extract the seeds. Finches generally figure it out easily, sparrows generally don't.
Keith
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First of all make sure it's the right type, as a few other people recommended. Then it may take a while for the finches to find it, so be patient.
The finch feeder that works best for me is the fabric mesh kind. I never see anything but goldfinches on it, and sometime they're so thick you can barely see the feeder. The downside is that one only lasts about 6 months, but since they're so cheap and the finches love them, I don't mind replacing them.
--
Jacqueline
Carmichaels PA
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I've had the best luck with feeding goldfinches with thistle socks. They love them! Four or five at a time will cling to the sock. Cheap, too! <G>
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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The socks work well. Tie a yellow ribbon on top to attract the goldfinches. It really works.
Marilyn
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