Having Goldfinches in and around your garden is a real joy. The brightly colour plumage combined with their pleasant song makes goldfinches really fun to watch and enjoy your garden. Unlike the Blue Tits you may see all day every day, Goldfinches may visit for a whole day, and then not return for a few days or weeks. This unpredictability makes their visits even more exciting when you catch the flash of colour or beautiful tinkling song. Read on to find out what to feed and what plants to grow to help attract Goldfinches into your garden.
The quickest way to attract Goldfinches into your garden is by putting up a Niger (nyjer) seed feeder (the perfect Goldfinch feeder), and filling it with the tiny black Niger seed which Goldfinches love. These seeds are so tiny that you can only use a specialist feeder with tiny holes. Goldfinches have thin beaks which are perfect for feeding from these. You will also attract other types of Finch and Sparrow who also enjoy Nyger seeds, and are fun to watch squabbling around your new wild bird feeders.
They are also partial to sunflower hearts and grass seeds, which will also attract other members of the finch family such as Greenfinches and Chaffinches.
By putting plants that produce seed which Goldfinches like in your garden is a natural way of attracting these yellow and red finches to your patch. The Teasel is one of the best, and is also wonderful for pollinators such as bees, moths and butterflies. Once the teasel goes to seed in the autumn and winter they become a Goldfinch magnet, whose beaks are perfect for tweezering seeds from between the Teasels spikes.
Other plants you’ll often seed Goldfinches flying around and feeding from include Lavender, Dandelions and Cornflowers.
Having Goldfinches nest in your garden is wonderful, however it is not something you can influence. Goldfinches do not use man made nest boxes. They instead often nest in loose colonies and make their nests from mud and grass, which is then lined with wool to make it very cosy. They are capable of attaching these nests to branches of trees and bushes, usually really high up for security from predators.
Anyone who is lucky enough to have Goldfinches frequent their garden will tell you how lovely it is to see a flock of Goldfinches enthusiastically bathe in larger bird baths. Goldfinches like to bathe often, so make sure you have a bird bath or water available to watch this entertaining show.
As Goldfinches eat mostly seeds, they need to drink more than most other species of wild bird, so remember to top up your bird bath when refilling your bird feeders.
If you have any more top tips to get visits from Goldfinches, let us know if the comments below.