I've recently had a pair of collared doves diving into to the spilt seed tray below my niger seed feeders. It was certainly a surprise as normally not even the finches seem to bother with this growing pile of seed and I had been considering removing the seed tray altogether until these showed up a few weeks ago.
So it left me wondering a few things. First do others have this experience with niger seed trays? That is the spilt seed is just ignored. Even if my feeders are empty the finches don't seem to bother with them. Why is that?
And secondly it made me wonder about what other species eat niger seed. Apart from Goldfinches and seasonal redpolls and the occasional Greenfinch and Bullfinch I haven't seen anything else until these collared doves came along.
Was the dove actually eating the nyjer or just using the tray as a look-out perch?
Only goldfinches and redpolls eat my nyjer seed, but they do use the trays underneath those and also the ones underneath the sunflower heart feeders.
How often do you empty and clean the trays? If you leave it more than a few days the seeds go soggy and mouldy, and maybe this is why your birds aren't eating up. Just a thought.
Chaffinches also eat niger.
Collared Doves also land on my spilt niger seed tray and they definitely do eat the seeds. I clean the trays regularly though as I have seen a poorly Collared Dove on there so I don't want to encourage it.
So niger eating birds so far:
I remember a siskin at one of my feeders last year but I can't remember if it was a niger feeder or something else.
Collared doves definitely seem the odd ones out on this list.
Yes, you can add siskins to your list. They eat nyjer.
Wow,a siskin and redpoll,in same pic. I've seen one of each,since I started feeding birds,a year ago :-)
Gone is the idea that a hungry bird will eat anything in the winter months. I even tried mixing in the Niger with standard seed mix because it just wasn't moving from the bespoke feeder. I will have to chuck it away as the birds aren't feeding from the standard hanger with the Niger mixed in
I had Niger seeds and not one bird came and fed on the bird feeder in a 3 month period. Eventually I had to bin the Niger seed as I my birdwatching friend did as well and she recommended Sunflower Hearts and the variety of birds has been fantastic and I get more Goldfinches now more than any other bird and that's alongside my bird table and bird bath.
I can add two more species that I have seen eating Niger seed, namely House Sparrows and Feral Pigeons. I have the 20-port Droll Yankee Niger feeder. I fixed a small plastic dish to the base to collect the fallen seed and the Ferals use that to perch. The Spadgers seem to go on there when all the other feeders are in use, but they do spend several minutes there.
Dunnock as well.
Birds feed regularly at me niger feeder. I have the black mesh one with green top and bottom. It will be empty along with the nut, seed, sunflower, fat ball and cake feeders. Filled them up today, but for some reason not had a lot of visitors. It was lovely and sunny today and got some work done in the garden.