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Old 9th March 2014, 04:24 PM   #1
jmrg
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Banyoles - Catalonia - Spain
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Default Nyjer seeds are too much fatty?

Hi,

For a couple of months I've been feeding very successfully a group of 15 o 20 goldfinches with Nyjer seeds, at a feeder in my terrace. But now Iím reading about that such seeds contain too much fat and can be harmful to the goldfinchesí liver. What do you think?

Thank you very much!
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Old 9th March 2014, 06:47 PM   #2
chilternbirder
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No idea, I gave up on nyjer seed because of the sheer volume of shell falling into the seed catcher or onto the ground. The goldfinches seem quite happy with sunflower hearts.
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Old 11th March 2014, 09:43 AM   #3
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Hi

Nyjer seeds (and sunflower hearts) contain lots of calories, which is what makes them so valuable for wild birds living very energetic lives. I wonder if the information you have been reading may be based on captive birds?

Birds that are kept in cages or aviaries have constant access to food and little need to exercise, so can have problems if they are fed a very rich diet. Apparently nyjer is used as a "tonic" food for captive birds to get them into breeding condition before going back to a lower calorie diet for the rest of the year.

For wild birds the food that we provide is a supplement to natural food supplies and can be an important way of "topping up" during local food shortages, as often experienced at this time of year. As a general rule wild birds tend not to suffer from over consumption of food as any extra weight carried makes them more vulnerable to predators and, of course, they have to use more energy to fly in the first place!

I hope that helps.

Kind regards

Martin
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