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January 13, 2011


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The Zen Birdfeeder

Brynn, I'm pretty sure it's mold or fungus growing on the debris. Rake it up, throw it away in the trash. To keep it from coming, keep the debris under the feeder from accumulating by raking frequently.


I have a black hair like growing under my bird feeder with Nyjer bird seed in it . Do you know what it is. It came after about 4day of rain it is around the bace of a white pine tree. Looks like fine babies hair about 4-6 in long. Will it harm the birds and myself. What do I do to get rid of it and to keep it from coming back. Thank you

The Zen Birdfeeder

S.Huffman, rake it all up and bag it for the garbage. Do this regularly - it makes your birdfeeding station safer for the birds!

The Zen Birdfeeder

Bill, just put it in the trash or in a hot compost pile. Clean the can thoroughly, dry it in the sun. Buy Niger seed in smaller quantities. Store in that sealed can in cool conditions. Good luck to you!

Bill Holt

I have about 10# if seed that has been in a trash can (covered) for 6 months. I have seen small moths inside the can. I realize that the seed isn't good but what do I need to do to get the can prepared for this year. Also is there another bird that will eat this seed or should I just throw it away?

S. Huffman

What does one do with all the old seed on the ground. I have a lot of it and it is on mulch. It is the only place I can put the feeder that I can get to to fill it, and I also use the sock. They love both and I have many, many finches. Doves eat some on the ground, but it is piling up. Any suggestions?

The Zen Birdfeeder

Glen, you're right - some people define a weed as a plant that is where you don't want it.

Glen Sarvis

This is picky but I don't consider thistles "noxious" in fact a small section of my rather large wildflower garden contains several species of thistles. They are aesthetically pleasing and ecologically important.

The Zen Birdfeeder

lmmy - check this out! http://wildbirdsunlimited.typepad.com/the_zen_birdfeeder/2013/04/faq-if-squirrels-dont-like-niger-seed-why-do-they-chew-my-finch-sock.html

The Zen Birdfeeder

Hi Lori,
Bears are attracted to anything that smells like food. Even if they don't like the taste of it (I don't know if they do or not), they smell it and will pursue it!


Am up North for the summer and knew sunflower seeds were a Bad Idea because of black bears, but thought Niger Seed wouldn't be attractive to them. Had only goldfinches at the sock for past 2 weeks, but just caught a young Black bear on the deck pulling down the tube feeder, placed there a day ago (on a shepherd's hook out from the 2nd story deck)!

It's put away now, but bears are attracted to Niger Seed?


I bought the seed in a little white bag/net and watched a squirrel hang on it, chopped a bigger hole in it and ate about 1/2 the bag. I am dissapointed

The Zen Birdfeeder

Nannette, a lot of what you're finding is probably shells. In any case, do NOT scoop it up and refill the feeder with it as it contains fecal matter from the birds. Not good for the birds!!
Sylvia, rain and moisture will make the seed clump and/or mold. Try to cover the feeder to minimize rain impact, and try to keep the seed loose and dry by shaking the feeder periodically.
Frank, no, vegetable oil will NOT rejunvenate it. It would only stick to the shell and have no impact on the seed inside. Plus it would make your feeder gunky.


Would adding vegetable oil to Niger seed rejuvenate it?


Hi there. Today I bought a sock because I saw a Blue Bunting or Indigo .Well it started raining out will this seed go bad. Thank-you Sylvia

Nanette new

I'm finding quite a bit of waste from the finch feeder's I feed them Niger Seeds.
Is what is on the ground edible for them do they like it can I refill the feeder what what hits the ground.

The Zen Birdfeeder

That's good news, Philip!

The Zen Birdfeeder

Marcia, doves do like to forage underneath the niger feeder. Thanks for stopping in and commenting!

Philip Peterson

Yes indeed. I saw a squirrel walk up to it, sniff it and then wander off.


I had spilled a good little pile of my niger, and was surprised to see my doves seem to love it, I know there is a bit of niger in some mixes, but didnt think doves like it, maybe there is something in it offers a change and different nutrient.
I have alot of gold finches, the lesser finches and other types of finches that love it at the feeders, and clean it out so quickly I think I need to buy larger bulk of it now...

The Zen Birdfeeder

Annick, great activity on that niger seed! Thanks for reporting in!
Joyce, I would recommend investing in an easy to clean feeder. It might be a little more expensive but it will last you for years. Check out WBU's Quick Clean finch feeders as well as the anti-microbial ones http://shop.wbu.com/products/productdetail/part_number=3442/567.0?os=354
Happy feeding and thanks for working hard to maintain a clean SAFE feeder for the birds!


I don't have a problem attracting Gold Finches I have a plastic feeder which I clean often but cannot seem to figure out how to clean the holes around where they feed. I tried long brushes & soaking but it doesn't seem to work.


I have Cardinals, Nuthatches, Dark eye Juncos, House finches, and of course Chickadees, Goldfinches and Downys eating the Niger seed this winter.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Jenifer, like you said, finches are finicky and all birds have habits like we do. They're used to the socks and just need some time to get used to the look and feel of the new feeders. Put them exactly where the socks were, fill them with fresh seed, and allow time (it could be weeks, because finches move around alot). Good luck!

The Zen Birdfeeder

Kathleen, niger seed that is 2 years old, no matter where you bought it, will be dried out and not attractive to the birds. Use niger seed up in 2-3 months after purchasing from a bird-feeding hobby shop. Buy it elsewhere, you have NO IDEA how long they've had it on their shelves!

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