Have you Ever Seen?

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Ann wrote:

I like that expression. "Flying flowers"
the blue ones are my favorite.
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The "thistle seed" that is sold for bird feed isn't really a thistle. It's Nyjer (sometimes Nyger) seed and it's in the sunflower family. If a seed should happen to sprout it will look like a yellow daisy type flower and have a very short, non reproductive life span. The Nyjer sold for feeders is imported from Ethiopia and SE Asia, they've yet to get the stuff to successfully grow as a harvestable crop anywhere in the US or Canada so having it sprout up and take over most likely won't be a problem you need to worry about. Also the imported seed is now heat sterilized so it won't sprout (that regulation was around 1998) just to make sure non native plants that may be invasive wouldn't be introduced.
If you want more info about "it's not a thistle seed" you can read it here. http://www.ebirdseed.com/nyjer_niger_thistle_birdseed.html
Val
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The nyger seed sold for goldfinches, is a tropical thistle from Africa. It's not the same plant as the Scottish thistle, at least, it won't germinate here in Scotland :-)
For some weird reason, birds are very fussy about where they eat nyger seed from. For a long time I tried in vain to tempt goldfinches with niger seed, which I put in conventional seed holders, or on the bird table. Every bird in the garden refused to touch it and many other gardeners I know, had the same experience.
Then at a friends house, I was astonished to see a dozen or more goldficnches flocking to a special nyger-seed holder which is a plastic tube with very narrow holes at each feeding-station. I bought one at Petsmart, and now we have flocks of goldfinches. They still won't touch nyger seed served any other way.
Janet.
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Few things I forgot to mention about Finch feeders. The type that force them to eat upside down are really comical! Wrap some bright yellow ribbons or tape about your feeder. Yellow to a Finch is similar to Hummers going to red. Seems when it is mating time the male Finch turns bright yellow.
Bill
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S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
http://www.ocutech.com/ High tech Vison aid
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William Wagner wrote:

Thank you for all the wonderful info and helpful tips. I have patronized this site often lately, and there are a lot of tube feeders at the link. Which would would be ideal? Which ones (if any) could they hang unside down on? My only condition is I don't want one too long. Can't use it until next year anyway, I'll have to read up on finches, too, but don't want to buy any more books right now!
Please copy and past the item# if you respond so I know for sure which one.
http://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/tube_feeders_thistle.asp
I already ordered the birch feeder (it fits my yard scheme the best, have a clump of birches in front), VC-LOG-2T, & one gift because they only had 3 in stock. I get free shipping that way. I can get another finch feeder if you think the birch log won't work, and Christmas is coming anyway.

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http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=upside+down+finch + feeder&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
I purchased one from here.
http://www.birdsforever.com/thistle.html
Have lots of fun !
Bill who purchased all sorts of feeders which proved to be useless.
--

S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
http://www.ocutech.com/ High tech Vison aid
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William Wagner wrote:

Which one did you purchase since you have tried so many already? Several would do, kind of lean toward this one, and it is cheap, #PP399, don't care for the yellow plastic capper all that much but it may help attract them.
Don't care for the folksy painted one, or the spiral ones except the green capper would blend in better than yellow, (money an issue but will spend what it takes), other spiral model too long, Magnums? might be ok but prefer ones with traditional perches, Droll Yankee mini too small, the bigger one better, but wish it were more natural material, looks like aluminum. Would their feet freeze, don't know when they migrate, surely whatever were here are gone by now?
I'm too picky and even if I didn't have a camera would certainly enjoy watching them. But it is a factor to find a "photogenic" one and heaven knows the difficulty in setting up decent shots without spooking them, best way is my tripod and my remote, plus I need to put it someplace were there wouldn't be something ugly and distracting in the bg which is not easy around here but doable. BTW, some photographer did wonders with that ITEM #TH-3, it's loaded and a good shot. I'm just am amateur but work hard at it.
I don't have to buy it at bestnest; they just happened to have several things I liked & needed at good prices, a few of the purchases were extravagant.
Thanks for the link!

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Hi hettie, the above looks much like my thistle feeder. Plus, from your link I found out what William meant by the one that makes them hang upside down ; and that American goldfinch (carduelis tristis) is not the same bird as a British goldfinch (carduelis carduelis), yours have more gold and ours have a red cap like this
www.birdfood.co.uk/.../goldfinch_01.jpg
Janet (Scotland)
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Janet Baraclough wrote:

Hi Janet, well at least we both have finches, and that is a good thing.
Now I see at my bestnest link a lot are exactly the same as at the link William supplied me. I see the upsidedown one, too. I don't mind upsidedown, but don't want one where that is the only position they can feed, fun at times to watch, but looks unnatural. I guess you can't have it both ways.
Maybe the one I ordered (looks like fake birch and I have tons of birch I've collected, too many things lined up to try to make one), will work. I can always set it up and buy another one later if that one doesn't attract any.
Your goldfinch link comes up with a not found. It's nice to have someone from Scotland around here, doubt I'll ever get to see the place, but have much of it in my ancestry. I've seen many photos in nice books about Scotland, but it is hard to get a feel for the place. Some of it looks so rugged and remote, but you have those beautiful, long-haired cows which I suppose nobody breeds much. And probably a lot of other unusual things and natural beauty. There must be good gardening areas, too.
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May be their nature. I've been filling up the feeder every other day. Hard to think a wood pecker can hammer away for a grub but they do for which I am grateful. I have a hard time wondering just what is natural or not. Closer to human ideals seem to make the question a bit bias. Dung beetles come to mind. Anyway these upside finches seem to come back look about upright then spin to the inverse without thinking about it.
PS Hummers can't walk weird world eh?
Bill who hopes you enjoy birding for a long time.
RED Flowers attract as would a red car.
...............
I've been hoping for a Mac version of this for years.
http://www.thayerbirding.com/dnn /
--

S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
http://www.ocutech.com/ High tech Vison aid
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William Wagner wrote:

Haven't seen my yellow-bellied sapsucker around lately, hope a few will be back, pecks on my cedar shingles & trees. Couple years back had a whole flock of larger brown woodpeckers, think that's what they were, you'd see them all over, feeding on the lawns around here. I fed them and noticed they would go to the dry cat food and carnivore pile. One got in the house; I got him out safely which was luck how he hid in an empty box in the top of the closet, just held the lid shut, took it out and let it go. I wonder what happened to them.

True, glass is made from sand. I like wood and don't care for plastic for ornamental things. But it sure is wonderful to have it. Think the kids would be better off with not so many bright colors in their environment, everything plastic now, not all bad.
I don't care if the finches spin or don't spin. For a photo, I'd rather not have them upside down; otherwise I don't care. I would settle for just attracting some.

I didn't know that, I'll read the book, at least some of it. That is odd. I can't remember if butterflies and moths can walk or not. Seems like the little ones climb when they are inside, not sure.

I think I'll pass on that, but it looks neat. If I can get a photo of a bird, somebody on the bird forum or my photo forum always seems to know what it is, then I can look up more about it. Some of the bird photos good amateurs post just blow me away, snowy owls, loons, etc.
Back to what I was doing. Photoshop is acting up, have to try to find a fix for that so I can finish some wedding photos. Always something.

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contains these words:

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This is the place I order most of my bird stuff. Very nice people on the phone, quick shipping, good prices. http://www.nottawawildbirdsupply.com /
They have some nice thistle feeders.
Val
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Val wrote:

I really like that antique brass one. Wonder if that would attract them. Thanks for another good link.

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I have one very similar to that antique brass feeder. I snagged a couple of big yellow satin ribbon bows out of a sale bin and wired them on top of my thistle feeder when I first hung it up. Yellow seems to be a goldfinch magnet. As soon as the first goldfinches showed up I took the bows off. They've been coming back for several years now that they know where the feeder is.
Val
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Val wrote:

Wow, thanks, I will try that. My neighbors will think I have really lost it. I will take the ribbon off if any find it.

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I use these mesh 'socks' for thistle. They can cling to them wherever they want, and pull the seeds through easily. They seem to love it!
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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I discovered Bumblebee moths this summer. Had never heard of them or Hummingbird moths. Cool looking creatures.
here is the bumblebee moth I found
http://s191.photobucket.com/albums/z141/arkienurse/garden%20pics/?action=view&current 1.jpg
http://s191.photobucket.com/albums/z141/arkienurse/garden%20pics/?action=view&current 0.jpg
Vicky
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