If you read our recent exposé on the pine siskin, aka the American Goldfinch in disguise, you’re probably familiar with some of the ins and outs of this beautiful, feisty little bird. Pine siskins are small, streaky-brown finches characterized by their fine, narrow bills and distinctly harsh calls. If you live nearby coniferous forests or have a backyard rich in cedar, cypress, pine, and fir trees, you may be lucky enough to spot a flock.
Pine siskins are relatively rare, so attracting goldfinches may be the move if you're looking for something a little more rewarding. Either way, follow these tips and you should see some wild birds in your yard!
1. Get the Right Bird Feed
Filling your bird feeders with the right bird food is the first and probably most important step in attracting pine siskins and finches to your yard. Stock up on thistle seeds, millet, or hulled sunflower seeds, as these are the seeds pine siskins favor.
As for finches, they also favor a variety of seeds, as well as berries and other vegetation.
2. Create a Natural Environment
If you’re looking for a way to naturally bring pine siskins and finches near, consider sprucing up your shrubbery. Pine siskins in particular love hanging off the edges of twiggy branches, so consider adding these types of trees as well as additional foliage to your landscaping. While this may seem counterintuitive, a pro tip is to actually keep dead branches around instead of discarding them, as they make for perfect places to perch. Also consider adding flowers in bloom and seed-bearing plants like dandelions, grass, and Black-Eyed Susans to your outdoor space.
3. Find the Right Feeders
The proof is in the presentation when it comes to getting pine siskins and finches to approach. Thistle or nyjer feeders are preferred particularly because they are specifically designed to hold the thistle seeds these birds love. Both nyjer feeders and nyjer socks (sometimes referred to as finch socks) will work well. Keep in mind that while pine siskins may come around often, they rarely finish all their food. This means that there will often be old seed remaining at the bottom. It’s therefore on you to remember to empty and clean your bird feeders regularly to avoid spoiling, clumping, or salmonella. A clean bird feeder is the healthiest bird feeder.
4. Set up a Hydration Station
No matter where you live, setting up a bird bath is a practical way to encourage wild birds to come near. Birds are especially attracted to open water to both cool them down during the warm summer months as well as as a source of drinking water.
5. Be Patient
The last tip for attracting pine siskins and finches to your backyard is to be patient! Any bird-friendly garden will take time to come into its own, which also means that the birds will similarly take their own time to frequent it. Make your backyard as natural a habitat for pine siskins and finches as possible with the aforementioned tips and they will come!
Ready to feed the birds? Let us help you here at Valley Farms®. Find all your bird food and supplies when you shop with us today!