Best Finch Feeders: Review Of The Top 6 Brands For Nyjer Seed & Thistle

A house finch perched on a feeder

Last Updated on by Garrett Hayes

A quality finch feeder is an essential item for every bird watcher.

And the reason why isn’t so far-fetched:

Finches are some of the most colorful, social, and entertaining birds indigenous to America.

So, despite their charm, they are widespread and easy to attract to your backyard. Oh, and, just so that you know, a flock of finches is called a “charm.”

If you want to see a charm of finches in your yard all day, you’ll need a feeder that serves their favorite nyjer seed, and at a rate that meets your time and budget.

Fortunately, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of 6 quality finch feeders starting with the #1 Droll Yankees Nyjer Tube Feeder, plus a guide at the end to help you make an informed decision…

Top 6 Goldfinch Feeders Reviewed

1. Droll Yankees Nyjer Tube Feeder

Droll Yankees New Generation Finch Flocker Bird Feeder, 23 Inches, 8 Ports, Yellow

Earning the top spot is a finch feeder that serves only finches. Well, and maybe other little birdies that won’t chase off the finch, like chickadees and siskins.

More specifically, this feeder can serve only nyjer seed, a finch-favorite, because of its tiny feeding ports. So, only birds with equally tiny beaks can enjoy the thistles in the feeder.

The best part:

It’s made with the best of materials in mind, so you can expect to use this feeder for many seasons. As a matter of fact, Droll Yankees offers a lifetime warranty against squirrel damage on this feeder.

That’s not much of a surprise. The top and bottom of the feeder are made with die-cast metal, which would see no rust or damage from little birds for years. Plus, it has a polycarbonate tube that won’t discolor even under constant exposure to the sun.

However, since it serves only nyjer seeds, it’ll be left alone by critters and other birds that may terrorize the feeder.

Even if you’ve got quite a number of finches already visiting your yard, its 2-pound seed capacity should be enough. It is 23″ tall and has eight ports that should be enough, and if not, you can try their 36″ inch feeder.

Here’s the thing:

An issue with most thistle feeders, including this one, is their drainage and cleaning. Water stays at the bottom of the feeder and causes the seeds to mold and also tough to clean. 

Fortunately, Droll Yankees try to solve this issue by making a drainage hole at the base of the feeder.

Now, it doesn’t solve the issue outright, but it helps. It even comes with a long cleaning brush, which solves a lot of future headaches because this type of narrow tube feeders can be hard to clean.

Another helpful feature is its sloppy base. It allows the finches to empty the bottom-feeding ports.

Not to forget, refilling this feeder is a walk in the park. Just slide off the top lid and fill the tube with seed.

Pros

  • Strong build
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Empties the feeder for the finches
  • Drainage hole at the base
  • Easy to clean with an included long cleaning brush
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Only eight finches can eat at a time
  • Seeds can still get spoiled despite its drainage hold

Takeaway

If you want the best nyjer seed feeder to attract finches, look no further than the Droll Yankees. It is durable, easy to clean, and suitable for attracting and feeding in a yard with a dozen or more finches.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

2. Perky Pet No/No Finch Feeder

Perky Pet No/No Finch Feeder

If you’re wondering why on earth a feeder is named No/No, that’s normal.

Many people did, but it just means you’re getting a durable feeder that’s made with 100% metal. No wood. No plastic.

With durable construction out of the way, you should also know it works well for attracting finches. 

Here’s why:

The mesh design of this feeder attracts only birds small enough to cling and pull seeds out. You guessed right, like yellow finches and goldfinches, who are capable of eating upside down while clinging.

Plus, this means the entire surface of the feeder is a feasting zone, so you can keep more birds happy.

It gets better:

Perky Pet uses a witty patented baffle system to keep seeds evenly distributed at the top and bottom. If you look closely, you’ll see the two cone-like baffles. It allows the birds to have more options to eat around the feeder even when it’s low, rather than crowding and fighting at a spot. 

Also, the tray catches dispelled seed from the feeder, which minimizes waste and opens up more feeding room for the birds. Plus, it has drainage holes that keep the seeds from getting soaked when it becomes inevitably wet.

Nonetheless, if the top lid and tray were any bigger, this feeder would’ve been perfect.

Thankfully, the feeder opens easily, has no crevices for seeds to get stuck. So you can clean it easily whenever the seeds are stale or soaked.  

Pros

  • Mesh design attracts only small birds, like finches and chickadees
  • Fills up with 1.5 pounds of nyjer seed
  • Innovative inner baffle to distribute seeds at the top and bottom
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Small roof offers little or no protection from rain
  • Little saucer makes a mess on the floor

Takeaway

It’s a great bird feeder if your yard is a hot zone for birds. Almost every part of its construction dispenses seeds to finches and other small birds.

Moreover, this feeder is affordable, and the issue with its small tray is excusable since it may attract larger birds.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

3. Kaytee Twin Pack Sock Finch Feeder

Kaytee Twin Pack Sock Finch Feeder

Contrary to the views of some birdwatchers, sock feeders are safe for attracting a flock if you find the right one. And dispose of it as soon its due.

The Kaytee Sock Feeder is one of the good ones that you can try. It’s a favorite among the birds whenever it’s placed with tube or mesh feeders.

But keep in mind:

Because of its small surface area, it’s better off as a backup feeder.

In particular, the Kaytee twin pack contains 8″ long sock refillable sock feeders. And they come filled with Kaytee nyjer seeds too.

Because these socks are bird hotspots, you’ll be refilling them quite often. It uses a drawstring to open and close the bag.

However, you shouldn’t expect the socks to last more than a month or a few refills. In fact, for the safety of the birds, replace them when they start to tear. Birds can get stuck, and in sad yet bizarre situations, die if no one’s around set them free.

Just hang the thistle socks correctly, and you’ll attract just as many birds as most other feeders for however long they last.

Pros

  • Attracts more birds than even larger tube and mesh feeders
  • Prefilled with Kaytee nyjer seeds
  • Cheap finch feeder for beginner birders
  • Easy to refill and clean

Cons

  • Not suitable for extended use

Takeaway

The Kaytee sock feeder is a nice backup option for when you have a bird invasion in your yard. It’s a budget option for a beginner bird watcher that doesn’t mind the sight of a sock hanging their yard.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

4. Perky Pet LH00355 Solar Finch Bird Feeder

Perky-Pet LH00355 Solar Lighthouse Finch Bird Feeder

Not only is this another long-lasting No/No feeder from Perky Pet, but it’s also one of the most aesthetically pleasing finch feeders on the market.

Seriously, the Perky Pet LH00355 Solar Finch Bird Feeder is arguably the only thistle feeder with an impressive architectural design. 

Here’s why:

It has a quaint lighthouse design, and to put a cherry on the top, solar LED lights up in its roof after dark…

No worries, you can turn it on/off if the thought of it looks creepy to you.

The feeding arrangement of this feeder is unique. It has a mesh construction that attracts clinging but also features a ladder with a foot landing around the feeder for perching birds.

Not to worry: 

The mesh is only small enough for birds with small beaks like finches.

Its patented Evenseed technology allows the feeder to dispense 1.5 pounds of seed to birds at the top and bottom of the lighthouse. Although it is only 14 inches high, it can accommodate as many as 15 birds at a time.

The only thing is, with so many birds eating simultaneously, it may require refilling more often.

Pros

  • Unique lighthouse design with nightlight
  • Good bang for the buck
  • Serves as many as 15 or more birds
  • Powder-coated mesh metal stand test of time

Cons

  • Birds go through seeds faster

Takeaway

With the Perky Pet Solar feeder, you can get a well-built feeder that not only attracts lots of finches but also beautifies your yard. Costing only a few bucks, it’s a good bargain for a lighthouse that would leave visitors to your home wowed.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

5. Stokes Select “Little-Bit Feeders” Finch Bird Feeder

Stokes Select 38194 Bird Feeder, Yellow

It’d almost seem disrespectful to make a list of the “best feeder” in any category without including one from Stokes Select. And with more than a thousand units sold online, their Little-Bits Feeders rightfully earns a spot on the list.

The Stokes Select “Little-Bit Feeders” Finch Bird Feeder‘s affordability and simplicity play a key role in its popularity.

It has a mesh screen that attracts all types of finches and other little birds like siskins and nuthatches. The birds can perch on the tray or cling and eat the way they like.

Furthermore, refilling and cleaning is a breeze. The wide opening of its lid makes it easy to pour seeds into the feeder with less spill and hassle. To make cleaning easy, the base can also be removed to flush clumped thistle out when it rains.

Still, on rainy days, the base has drainage holes that keep most of the seeds in the feeder when there’s a downpour. But it’d have been much better if the top lid was a bit larger, so it can stop the rain from getting into the feeder instead.

With only a 1/2-pound seed capacity, your feeder is likely to be empty on most days if it’s popular among the birds. So, be ready to take on that chore.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Light but durable metal construction
  • Parts of proceeds from your purchase funds the course of bird conservation

Cons

  • Might be too small for a large number of birds

Takeaway

This is one of the most affordable high-quality thistle feeders you can get to attract finches. It’s built to last, easy to clean, but you may have to deal with its small size.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

6. Droll Yankees Sunflower/Mixed-Seed Feeder

(Bonus Finch Feeder for Sunflower Seeds)

Droll Yankees Classic Sunflower or Mixed Seed Bird Feeder, Ring Pull Advantage, 16 Inches, 6 Ports, Silver

If you really love watching finches, then you should mix up their diet with black oil sunflower to see more of their bright plumage in your yard. Finches love it.

Yes, it’d attract more of other bird species, but the more the merrier, right?

Besides, finches only eat the sunflower husk because their beaks aren’t strong enough to crack the sunflower shell. So they’d need other birds, like the equally adorable cardinals, to do the heavy lifting.

Just be sure you’re pairing this sunflower feeder with any type of finch feeder above for best results.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE


Let’s watch a charm of finches flocking a feeder… Can you imagine how lovely it’d look in your yard?


Buying Guide

Getting the best finch feeder isn’t rocket science. You only need to understand these birds, their population in your area, and the standout features of a suitable finch feeder…

What’s The Best Type of Bird Feeder for Finches?

There are several types of finch feeders available from many brands which also includes a mealworm feeder and the ones mentioned above. Choosing the best type would be based on your personal preference.

Here’s a rundown of the main types of finch feeders:

1. Tube Feeder

The tube finch feeder allows you to control the number of finches or birds eating at a time.

It is usually a long plastic tube with a certain number of perches with feeding ports. The hole at each port is tiny, but enough to fit the small nyger seeds (the favorite seed of the finches).

Consequently, the number of birds feeding would be restricted to the number of perches on your tube feeder. Find one that’s close to what you want.

The issue with this type of feeder is that they can be hard to clean, because clumped seeds may stick inside, especially at the bottom. If you don’t have a cleaner or hose, you can purchase one that opens at the bottom.

2. Sock Feeder

The sock feeder is the cheapest type of finch feeder.

It is made from a sock-like mesh material, so it’s equally quite as disposable. In fact, a squirrel might tear it apart even on the first day out in the yard. Well, as long as you don’t hang it properly…

However, it attracts the most fiches because they can pick seeds from the hole without much hassle. Also, you can refill the bag a couple of times before the birds tear out the holes. Most finch sacks usually have a drawstring at the top for opening and closing the sack.

Some brands may prefill the sock feeders with thistle seeds.

Lastly, if you’re going to use a sock feeder, make sure to throw it out as soon as it tears. Finches can get caught up in the sock.

A golden finch on a mesh feeder

3. Mesh Feeder

For bird watchers that don’t mind entertaining a whole flock of birds, this type of feeder serves most number of finches simultaneously.

The entire feeder, other than the roof and tray, is made of a metal mesh screen. This allows finches and other little clinging birds to eat anyhow they like on the feeder.

Depending on the size, you can feed as many as 30 birds at a time. Also, this type of feeder is easy to clean because seeds would hardly stick to the mesh.

4. Rotating Port Finch Feeder

This type of feeder is typically the index of a tube feeder.

It has feeding ports beneath the perches, instead of above. This forces the finches to eat upside down, which is one of the ways they eat in the wild.

Aside from the spectacle, the upside-down feeder attracts the least birds. Like human nature, they’d instead go for a less stressful way to feast.


Factors to Consider When Buying a Finch Feeder

The following tips should help you make an informed purchase in your quest to find the best finch feeder for your backyard:

Durability

More often than not, I’d see birders buy cheap plastic feeders that break in less than a month.

The first rule: don’t go for plastic feeders.

Powder-coated metal feeders stand the test of time from the elements and critters. Although critters won’t be an issue anymore once they discover that you serve nyger seeds, but for some reason, they don’t like it.

If you prefer to use a tube feeder, which would be inevitably made of plastic, pick one that’s protected from sun rays.

Size

This is an important factor to consider to prevent stress, wastage, and to avoid runaway finches.

If you don’t see many finches around, it makes sense to start with a small finch feeder. This is because the nyjer seed is expensive and spoils fast. So, pick a feeder with a seed capacity that matches your budget and number of finches in your environment.

Also, you can save the stress of several refill trips by getting a large-sized feeder. This feature is better appreciated during winter when it’s not only challenging but dangerous to refill several times a day.

Ease of Cleaning and Refilling

This matters a lot so as not to become frustrated after you buy a feeder.

Check out if the feeder opens at both the top and bottom. It makes cleaning easier, especially if a cleaning tool like a brush is not provided by the manufacture. Else, cleaning a long narrow tube with clumpy seeds can be difficult.

Also, ensure the feeder has a wide opening for filling it with seeds. This may not be an issue if you’ve got a scooper.

Waste Management Mechanism

It’s almost impossible to find a finch feeder that won’t litter your yard.

However, you should make sure that the feeder has some sort of mechanism to curb the issue. Mesh feeders usually have a tray, but it won’t be large enough. So you can just attach it to a larger saucer.

Rodents may not eat the fallen husks, but they do litter the floor. So be prepared for this.

Bonus Tip: Yellow Over Other Colors

Generally, finches love the color yellow. Maybe it’s because of their yellow plumage. I guess I’d never know…

Regardless, you have a better chance of attracting American finches, goldfinches, and so on with a yellow feeder. This is not to say any other color won’t work.

In fact, I’ve used a black finch feeder that attracts just as much when placed side-by-side with a yellow one.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Should I Do If The Nyjer Seeds Get Moldy?

Open the cap, toss out the seeds and clean up the feeder immediately. This means flushing it out with water, then clean with a water mixture of ten parts water to one part bleach. This helps to kill the fungus left over by the mold if any.

Even though the finches might still eat the moldy seeds, it can cause them to have an eye infection.

Where is The Best Place To Put A Finch Thistle Feeder?

Like with other bird feeders, you should place it out of the reach of critters and not too exposed to direct sunlight.

First, you should make sure it’s hung at least 4 feet above the ground. Then, keep it 10 feet away from tree trunks or objects that squirrels can use to latch unto the feeder.

What Type Of Food Attracts More Goldfinches To My Yard?

Finches are typically vegetarians or seed-eaters. That said, seeds would be the bulk of their diet.

Their favorite is most definitely the nyjer seed or thistle. The cardinal-cherished black oil sunflower is also a treat for finches. However, most finches seem to prefer hulled sunflower because their beaks aren’t strong enough to break the seed.

Once in a while, they can indulge in mixed seeds, safflower, fruit, and suet.

Some experienced bird watchers also recommend planting wild sunflowers, coneflowers, and rudbeckia. These plants can double the number of finches visiting your feeder once they grow!


Takeaway

That’s it. You can now have a charm of finches in your yard as soon as you put up the feeder.

Don’t forget always to clean the feeder before the seeds become soggy. And to sterilize the feeder if it becomes moldy as well.

If you need a recommendation, I’d advise going for the Droll Yankees Nyjer Tube Feeder. Its plastic tube is UV-protected and durable. It has 8 feeding ports and 2-pound seed capacity that keeps the finches busy for a while before requiring a refill.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *