If you are a fan of wildlife and you are looking to help feed wild birds during what looks to be a very cold winter, then this is the post for you.

We will be looking into the different bird foods that are good for the winter period over the upcoming months and what you need to know about them.

Today’s topic is nyjer seed – a favourite seed for finches but not only (other birds like redpolls and siskins, for example)


Nyjer seeds are small thin black seeds that are often mistaken for sunflower seeds. They come from a plant called Guizotia Abyssinica which typically grows in African countries and India. Nyjer seed is often used in the production of oils used for various purposes including cooking, medicine and even soap making in these geographic areas.

Good to Know:

Nyjer seeds are oily seeds which means that they provide more energy to birds that eat them which is incredibly important, especially during the winter period.

You can put them in your garden in a separate feeder or mixed with other seed (sunflower seed, for instance). There are a few things, however, that one has to be careful with when it comes to nyjer seed:

  • Due to the oily nature of the seeds, they can dry out with time which can lead to your bird visitors not liking them any more and going to look for food elsewhere
  • In addition, if nyjer seeds stay in a feeder for too long they can get mouldy which is not healthy for our feathered friends. To avoid that make sure you check the quality of the seeds and clean your feeder regularly. It is also advisory to replace seeds every 2-3 weeks, even if there are still some left in the feeder rather than topping them up.

Our Suggestion:

If you choose to try these nutritious seeds with your bird friends, we recommend the One Nyjer feeder from Jacobi Jayne – it is incredibly easy to clean and refill which would help you overcome the most common problems with niger seed we mentioned above.

Have You Seen Any Other Birdies Munching on Niger Seeds in Your Garden? 

It is a known fact that finches and redpolls just LOVE nyjer seed. However, we have noticed that other birds express interest in these too so we would love you to share your experience with us. You can contact us on Twitter (@The_Gardenstyle) or Facebook (The Garden Style Company)