What Wild Birds Eat Nyjer (Thistle Seed)?

Nyjer seed is very popular with seed eating birds. Knowing the types of birds that enjoy eating the nyjer seed can help birders choose the right birdseed feeders for the backyard.

Where does the nyjer seed some from? The African yellow daisy. Although the nyjer seed is not at all related to the thistle plant, it is commonly called thistle seed. Nyjer seed is one of the most popular bird seeds found in a backyard feeder. It is high in oil and a nutritious source of energy. It can also be the most costly seed to purchase.

The birds that enjoy eating nyjer seed commonly have small sharply pointed bills that can easily manipulate the small shell to get to the seed. Many of the birds that eat nyjer seed are clinging birds and they can even eat upside down. Ground feeding birds will eat nyjer seed as well.

The most popular nyjer eating birds are:

American goldfinches
California quail
Common redpolls
Dark-eyed juncos
European goldfinches
Hoary redpolls
House finches
Indigo buntings
Lesser goldfinches
Mourning doves
Pine siskins
Purple finches
Song sparrows

Even woodpeckers, thrushes and chickadees have been known to eat nyjer seed! You never know what birds you will see!


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