Goldfinches visit gardens

First published in Letters

EVEN in the depths of a grey and wet winter there is a sight that will bring warmth into the heart of any wildlife lover... the sight and sound of Goldfinches visiting your garden Nyger feeders.

Goldfinches are strikingly beautiful examples of the finch family. They are almost tropical in appearance, with long, pointed beaks that make them specialists in extracting seeds.

Outside the breeding season, goldfinches roam in flocks in search of food and groups of 100 birds are quite common. They have beautiful liquid songs for which they have historically been kept caged. Although, they will eat insects, goldfinches are notoriously partial to nyger seeds.

Nyger seeds are small, black, oil-rich seeds from the Ramtil plant, native to Ethiopia. Closely related to sunflower seeds, Goldfinches, Siskin and Redpoll absolutely love them. Niger seeds are crammed with oils which are essential for a healthy well balanced diet. Because Nyger is such a fine seed, it should be fed from Nyger seed feeders and seed trays to avoid waste.

So, if you want to brighten up your winter and give a helping hand to our Welsh wildlife why not give your loved one a Nyger feeder this Valentines?

Cllr Rob Curtis

Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Bio-diversity Champion

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