As the American Goldfinches near my home start to molt into their breeding colors, it’s definitely the time of year when I commonly get asked about which feeder is best for attracting these cheery birds to people’s backyards. Since feeding this species is so popular, there are many different feeders to choose from when considering your backyard bird feeding needs.
Most people that feed finches have had a tube feeder with traditional ports such as the green feeder in the photo above. The finches seem to like eating from these tube feeders, but they are prone to get moisture inside of them that can cause mold. You have to be sure to keep those feeders very clean. To help with easy cleaning, be sure to buy a feeder with a removable bottom.
Sock feeders, such as the white sock above, have also been around for a long time. They are very popular with finches, but they do wear out quickly. Since they are inexpensive, it’s not a problem to replace them frequently.
If your finches love sock feeders but you would like something that won’t wear out so quickly, metal mesh finch feeders are right for you. These are my favorite way to feed finches, and I have two of them outside my window right now with many finches on them. These feeders allow for more finches to be on them at the same time (since there isn’t a limited number of ports like the tube feeders), and they tend to have less of a molding problem than the traditional tube feeders. Since the air moves through these feeders, even if the seed gets wet, it dries out quickly.
For those that are having trouble with species other than goldfinches eating all your seed, such as House Sparrows, you might want to consider an upside-down finch feeder. In order to keep some species from eating out of this feeder, the ports are below the perch, making the goldfinches have to flip upside-down in order to feed. This is very hard for birds like the House Sparrow, so they tend to leave the feeder alone.
If you have questions on finch feeders, visit your local backyard bird feeding store such as Wild Birds Unlimited or submit a question in the comment box below. What is your favorite type of finch feeder?