Thistle/Nyjer Seed


Nyjer seed resembles small grains of wild rice and is highly desirable by many finches for its high fat and protein content. Nyjer has another name, thistle, which sometimes alarms people. Many people think they will be growing thistle weeds in their yard if they offer this seed. On the contrary, nyjer is not a thistle at all. It’s the seed of the nyjer plant native to Ethiopia.

Nyjer seed sold as birdseed is heated to prevent it from germinating.Nyjer seed is very small and expensive, and should be presented in special thistle feeders. Goldfinches, house finches, purple finches, towhees, pine siskins, juncos, mourning doves and many sparrows gobble up thistle seed presented at backyard feeding stations.

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