Hedgehog Awareness Week

June 14, 2019

Summer Feeding Guide

June 14, 2019

Niger Seed: What You Need To Know

June 14, 2019

What is Niger Seed?

Niger seed (often called Nyger Seed or Nyjer Seed) comes from an African yellow daisy. It is rich in oil content and highly nutritious. It’s perfect for treating the small birds in your area – particularly goldfinches.

You might also see Niger Seed referred to as 'Thistle Seed', but they're actually two different seeds. The general belief is that this misconception came about because the seeds look similar and goldfinches love both Niger Seed and Thistle Seed!

A little known fact is that Niger Seeds actually have shells, so if you what looks like seed on the ground, it's not your birds throwing them away. It's actually the shells (husks) of the seeds!

Why Feed Niger Seed?

Birds love Niger seed, it’s a firm favourite amongst many varieties of garden bird.  If you aren’t already feeding it to your garden birds, we recommend giving it a try.

How To Feed Niger Seed

Niger Seed is a fraction of the size of sunflower hearts, but together they provide a great combo mix to ensure some of our favourite feathered friends remain well nourished. Because of its small size, most seed feeders aren’t suitable, as the seed will just fall out of the holes.  We recommend purchasing a pre-filled Niger Seed feeder to start off with so your birds can get used to it.  After that, you might want to consider purchasing a purpose-built Niger Seed feeder.

What Birds Eat Niger Seed?

Most birds will eat Niger Seed, however some favour it more than others.  One of the most common birds that loves Niger Seed is the Goldfinch, but you’ll also see Pine Siskins, Common Redpolls and other small birds.

How Do I Attract More Birds?

Niger Seed can be a great seed to put out for the smaller birds – especially goldfinches, but you will probably want to put out different seeds alongside it to really see the benefit.  As soon as you introduce sunflower seeds, or black sunflower seeds, you’ll start to see your birds going back and forth between your feeders as they enjoy the different seeds.

Keep The Birds Coming Back

Birds can be quite fussy about Niger Seed and they don’t like it when the seed dries out, or if it’s left out in the feeders for too long.  Generally, you’ll want to replace any uneaten seed that’s more than 4 weeks old.

To see if it’s something that would work well in your garden, we recommend buying a prefilled feeder to begin with.  Or if you want to go all in and buy a bag of seed and a feeder, we recommend only putting out a small amount (roughly a third of your feeders capacity depending on its size) so they can get used to it.  You can always store the rest and put it out as the birds get used to it.

Another trick is to make sure you're giving the birds an opportunity to keep clean. The easiest way to do this is to add a bird bath to your garden, or a bird station with an in-built bird bath.  You can find out more about bird hygiene on our blog.

Featured Products

These products are a great way to start feeding Niger Seed and will complement your garden perfectly.

Niger Seed
(Bags)

Save when you buy Niger Seed from us. Buy in bulk and save even more.



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Prefilled Niger
Feeder

It's easy to start encouraging Goldfinches and other small birds into your garden.



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Niger Seed
Feeders

See our range of durable, excellent quality bird feeders. Multi-seed feeders also stocked.



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Sunflower
Seeds

The perfect complement when you feed Niger Seed alongside Sunflower Seeds.


Sunflower Hearts For Wild Birds

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Bird Food
Storage

Keep your bird seed fresh and away from moisture with our range of storage.



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Bird Feeding
Station

Expand your hanging space with a simple, elegant feeding station.



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Bird Feeding
Hooks

Add more hanging space to your existing bird feeding station or pole.



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Bird
Baths

Encourage your birds to stay longer with a bird bath to promote good hygiene.



Buy Now

 

Other Useful Articles

We've written a whole host of content around the subject of Goldfinches, bird feeders, what to feed (and when) and more. You can find some of these posts below, or search our site for more.

 

 

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