When finches are searching for food, a finch feeder chock-full of Nyjer seed is a welcome sight. Though a popular choice, many birders don’t realize some of the fascinating facts behind this tiny, needle-shaped, black oily seed.

1. Nyjer seed attract finches

If you’d like to add another feeder to your yard, a tube feeder filled with Nyjer seed will specifically attract finches, such as American Goldfinches, House Finches  and Purple Finches, but Indigo Buntings, Red Polls and Pine Siskins love it too -  increasing the variety of species you draw to your yard. It has been noted that squirrels are typically not interested in Nyjer seed so that keeps down on competition at the feeder.

2. Nyjer seed doesn't produce thistle plants

Because finches are known for eating thistle seeds, the Nyjer seed was initially marketed as such, even though they produce an altogether different plant. But since thistle plants are not exactly favored and sought after by gardeners and farmers, the Wild Bird Feeding Industry eventually trademarked the name “Nyjer" to sell and market this bird food.

3. It’s also used in international cuisine

The plant it produces is a yellow flower called the Guizotia abyssinica, and it is grown in India, Ethiopia and Myanmar for its seed crop. The seeds are also pressed for cooking oil, or fried or ground and incorporated into various dishes.

4. It is the only major bird seed imported to the U.S.

Since 1985, U.S. Department of Agriculture has required that Nyjer seed is heat sterilized as a condition of entry, so it won't germinate.

5. Nyjer seed is best served fresh

When this seed isn't sold and consumed in a timely fashion, it can dry out and become much less appealing to the finches you want to draw into your yard. That's why it's important to turn to a trusted source like Lyric Wild Bird Food, that uses Stay Fresh technology in packaging the Nyjer Seed.  We can deliver fresh, top-quality Nyjer seed so you can set out a welcoming feast for the finches in your neighborhood.