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Birds by name
4 October 2010
Image: Steve Round
Everyone loves having goldfinches in their garden. They're pretty, fun to watch and make pleasant tinkling sounds. But if they haven't found you yet, what can you do?
One of the best plants for attracting goldfinches is the teasel. Though you might think of them as being just brown and prickly, did you know they're also great for attracting insects? In summer teasels have pale purple flowers which go down a storm with bees, butterflies and moths.
For goldfinches, teasels come into their own in autumn and winter when the seed heads dry out. The goldfinches' thin beaks are ideally suited for tweezering the tiny seeds from between the spikes.
They're also quite attractive, standing tall above other plants, so why not make a space for teasels in your garden?
Other goldfinch-friendly plants include lavender and dandelions!
If you have an urgent desire for goldfinches in your garden, you could try a nyjer feeder. Nyjer (Guizotia abyssinica) is a tiny seed which goldfinches love. The seeds are so tiny that you need a special feeder with small holes so the nyjer doesn't blow away.
The RSPB shop sells sample-sized, pre-filled nyjer feeders, so you can see if your local goldfinches like it.
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