Njer seed is a staple food source for many birds. It is also known as thistle seed but it is not actually from the thistle plant. It is the seed of the African yellow daisy (Guizotia abyssinica) and is a very popular commercial bird food. You can even grow it yourself.
From quails to buntings and doves to sparrows, there are a plethora of different types of birds that you can attract using Njer seed. Even birds such as woodpeckers, thrushes, chickadees, and even some finches are known to feed on this black seed. If you want to attract a wide array of birds to your backyard, then Njer can get them snacking on your backyard bird feeders. But what kind of birds eat Njer seeds?
Mourning doves, song sparrows, pine siskins, and American goldfinches are some of the most common species of birds that eat Njer seeds as they provide these birds with the necessary nutrients they need to survive.
There are many other kinds of interesting bird species that will enjoy feeding on Njer seeds on bird feeders. Take a look at the following list of the most popular birds that eat these little black seeds.
Top 10 Birds That Eat Njer Seeds
1. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Also known as American mourning dove, then rain dove, and as the turtledove, it is a member of the dove family, Columbidae. The mourning dove was once known as the Carolina pigeon and Carolina turtledove. Mourning doves are one of the most common birds and spread throughout North America.
Fully grown, the mourning dove reaches a length of twenty-two to thirty-six centimeters and has a body mass of one hundred and twenty grams.
2. Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
The Song Sparrow is a New World sparrow and is medium in size. It is one of the most abundant and adaptable species of all native sparrows in North America.
Author Note: Fully grown, the Song Sparrow will reach a length of twelve – seventeen centimeters and have a body mass of nineteen grams.
3. Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)
The Pine Siskin is a migratory bird with an extremely sporadic winter range and is a North American bird in the finch family.
The bills of the Pine Siskin are conical as with most finches but more slender as well as elongated when compared to co-occurring finches. When an adult, the Pine Siskin will have brown upperparts and pale on the underparts, with consistent streaking throughout.
They have short forked tails with yellow patches on their wings and on their tail.
When fully grown, Pine Siskins can reach a length of eleven to fourteen centimeters and have a body mass of twelve to eighteen grams.
4. American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
A small North American bird in the finch family, the American Goldfinch is a migratory bird. They are ranging from North Carolina to mid-Alberta during the breeding season and from the Northern United States to Mexico during the winter months.
The male is an olive color in the winter and changes to a vibrant yellow in the summer months, and the females are more of a brown-yellow shade, which brightens slightly in the summer months. To attract a mate during the breeding season, the male displays brightly colored plumage.
When fully grown, the American Goldfinch will reach a length of eleven to fourteen centimeters and have a body mass of twenty grams.
5. California Quail (Callipepla californica)
The California Quail is a small ground-dwelling bird and is also known as the California Valley Quail or the Valley Quail. The California Quail is a member of the New World quail family.
These birds have a curved plume or crest, made of six feathers that are black in males and brown in females, and flanks are brown with white streaks.
When fully grown, the California Quail can weigh up to one hundred and sixty grams.
6. Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea)
The Common Redpoll is a small bird and is a member of the finch family. These birds are Brownish grey in color with a red patch on its forehead. It has two pale stripes on the wings and a black bib. It is more streaked, browner, and smaller than the similar Arctic Redpoll.
When fully grown, the Common Redpoll will reach a length of between eleven and fourteen centimeters and have a body mass of about sixteen grams.
7. Arctic Redpoll (Acanthis hornemanni)
The Arctic Redpoll is a species in the finch family Fringillidae and is also known as the Hoary Redpoll. These are non-migratory birds, and many remain far north. However, there are some that migrate short distances south in the winter months.
Similar in appearance to the Common Redpoll with the exception of the Arctic Redpoll being much paler. They have black bibs, two light-colored stripes on each wing, small beaks, and white rumps. Females are more streaked on their backsides, sides, and breasts.
When fully grown, the Arctic Repoll will reach a length of about twelve to fourteen centimeters and have a body mass of twelve to sixteen grams.
8. European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
Native to Western and Central Asia, North Africa, and Europe, the European Goldfinch is a small passerine bird in the finch family. The European Goldfinch is also known simply as the goldfinch. They have also been introduced to Uruguay, Australia, and New Zealand.
The backs and flanks are chestnut brown or buff, and the black wings have a broad yellow bar. The rump is white, and the tail is black. The breeding male has a black and white head and a red face. Although males and females are very similar, the females have a slightly smaller red area on their face.
Author Note: When fully grown, the European Goldfinch will reach a length of twelve to thirteen centimeters and have a body mass of between fourteen to nineteen grams.
9. House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)
The House Finch is a bird native to Western North America. It is a member of the finch family ‘fringillidae’. It has been introduced to Hawaii and the Eastern half of the continent.
Adults have reddish heads, shoulders, and neck, which are brown or dull brown across the back with some shading into grey on the wings. They also have a long, square-tipped tail and breast and belly feathers that are streaked. Male coloration is derived from the fruits and berries that it eats and varies in intensity with the seasons.
When fully grown, the House Finch will reach a length of between twelve to fifteen centimeters and have a body mass of between sixteen to twenty-seven grams.
10. Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)
The indigo Bunting is a small, migratory bird that is a member of the cardinal family. During the breeding season, Indigo Buntings migrate from Canada to Florida, and then from Florida to Northern South America in the winter months.
Using the stars to navigate, they often migrate at night. It’s natural habitat is open woodland, farmland, and brush areas. The Lazuli Bunting is closely related to the Indigo Bunting and interbreeds when their ranges overlap.
The male is vibrant blue in the summer, displays sexual dimorphism in its coloration, and uses brightly colored plumage to attract a mate in the breeding season.
Author Note: The female is brown all-year-round, and during the winter months, the male turns brown.
The female Indigo Bunting is solely responsible for incubation and nest building.
When fully grown, the indigo bunting will reach a length of twelve to fifteen centimeters and have a body mass of around fourteen grams.
What is Njer?
Nyjer, is a tiny seed from the African yellow daisy (Guizotia abyssinica). Although the plant is unrelated to the thistle plant, the Nyjer seed is casually referred to as thistle or thistle seed. The little black seed is a favorite amongst many types of birds because of its high oil and nutrient-dense content.
The nutritious Nyjer seed is a favorite amongst borders because of the sheer volume of birds it can attract and, due to its popularity as well as import prices and crops, the Nyjer seed is one of the more expensive bird seeds available.
Buying Nyjer is relatively easy and can be bought in various options, including bulk seeds, small quantities, and even mixed in seed mixes. It appeals to many different types of birds and can be an excellent addition to your garden feeder.
By investing in a high quality and well-designed bird feeder, you can minimize waste and maximize your seed usage.
We hope you found this article on what kind of birds eat Njer seeds informative! They provide certain birds with the necessary nutrients they need to survive.
Fly high friends!
No, Njer seeds are often referred to as thistle but this is incorrect. The thistle plant is nothing to do with Njer seeds as they come from the African yellow daisy.
If Njer seeds have been left out for some time, they will dry out and become unpalatable. Put less out and change it frequently.
Most birds will eat Njer but those that like it, really love it. See the birds in our list above for examples.