Tucson, Arizona

Finicky Finches Need Nyjer


Nyjer® (thistle) attracts finches of all kinds. Its high oil content is an excellent energy source for active birds and is best used in our specially designed finch feeders. It is important to keep the food fresh for our picky little eaters. Nyjer has a thin shell and is vulnerable to spoilage while in the tube. Once seed starts to dry out and become stale, finches will turn up their beak for fresher forage. Replace Nyjer seed in feeders every three to four weeks if it is not being actively eaten. Store your Nyjer in an airtight container for a longer shelf life, and buy in quantities that will be used up in a few weeks.

Common questions about Nyjer (Thistle) seed


Will lesser goldfinches eat other seeds?

We are not aware of  any other seeds besides our native wildflower and grass seeds that lesser goldfinches will eat. Other finches such as American goldfinches and house finches will eat nyjer seed as well as sunflower seeds.


Where does nyjer seed come from?

Nyjer(thistle) is unrelated to the roadside thistle plant in the United States. Nyjer is grown in Nigeria, Ethiopia and India for crushing into a vegetable oil used for cooking.


Why is nyjer seed sometimes so dusty? 

Nyjer, being an imported seed, is heat treated to sterilize noxious weed seeds not indigenous to our country. The sterilization process can make the seed dusty. Sometimes processors opt to minimize the dust by adding a small amount of vegetable oil to the seed before it’s bagged for consumer sales. The quantity is minute and may not even appear on the list of ingredients on the bag.