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Author Topic: Goldfinches in central Illinois  (Read 2689 times)

coreysmom

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Goldfinches in central Illinois
« on: March 27, 2012, 03:55:41 PM »
Hi, this is my first post, so I hope I'm putting this in the correct place!

I live in central Illinois and have just a couple of birdfeeders in my yard. One is for finches and contains thistle seed.

The weird thing is that when we first moved here, we took everything over for my husband's father who had these feeders out, and the finches were coming like clockwork to that feeder, including one or two years some beautiful goldfinches! Anyway, for the last two seasons, I haven't had any at all. I'm wondering if they are not prevalant in central Illinois anymore or it's something that I've done. There was, I think, a longish period of time when I didn't fill the feeder, or perhaps the seeds were stale, so maybe that's it.

Anyway, would appreciate any ideas on this. I miss the little guys!

Craig Taylor

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Re: Goldfinches in central Illinois
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2012, 09:50:17 PM »
Hi coreysmom, welcome to IBF!

American Goldfinch is prevalent throughout Illinois, including the central part of the state.

Try some fresh thistle seed.

Do you have additional feeders?  If not, you may want to add one.  Pur black oilers in it, lots of species like sunflower, including Goldfinch.  The more birds you attract, the more likely you will get Goldfinch, who will discover your thistle feeder.

Is your seed decreasing in the feeder?  Maybe they're coming when your not watching. :)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 08:03:07 AM by Craig Taylor »
"Do you eBird?"

Craig Taylor

"Behold the birds of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Matt. 6 : 26

Fran Morel

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Re: Goldfinches in central Illinois
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2012, 05:15:19 AM »
Also, if the feeder gets wet, the small thistle holes can get clogged.

Fran

CMalone

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Re: Goldfinches in central Illinois
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2012, 07:12:31 AM »

Down here in St. Louis, the MO side, I am finding large numbers of goldfinches
eating on the catkins of the early blooming trees (not sure what tree species) but few at
my feeders.

Yes, fresh seed is essential. I just learned from the bird feeding folks on the Mobirds
listserve that it goes bad within a few months. Crush the seeds between some paper
to see if there is any oil in it. If there is no oil in the seeds the birds will not eat it.
It can also go rancid, so smell it to see if it is OK.

Just buy what you need for a few months.
If you buy in larger quantities, freeze what you will not need until later.
Ziploc freezer bags or tight fitting plastic containers will keep the seed from freezer burn.

Hope this helps.

Charlene Malone
St. Louis, MO



Craig Taylor

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Re: Goldfinches in central Illinois
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2012, 08:05:05 AM »
Also, if you are using a feeder, a plastic feeder, sometimes larger chunks of stuff can clog the small opening.

Or are you using a thistle sock?
"Do you eBird?"

Craig Taylor

"Behold the birds of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Matt. 6 : 26

celts1

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Re: Goldfinches in central Illinois
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 09:36:29 AM »
I've been feeding goldfinches my whole like. I know how to do it. I have clean feeders and good, fresh seed. I haven't seen one single goldfinch at my feeder this year, and my sister hasn't seen any at her feeder 65 miles away. Something is amiss---maybe it's the lack of winter---but ours usually stay all year anyway. I'll be awaiting some clinical, scientific  reason why they aren't here.

Marion Miller

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Re: Goldfinches in central Illinois
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 02:27:58 PM »
Hi Celts,

Welcome to the Forum.  Well, scientfic explanations you won't get from me, :) but I can share my observations.  I have had American Goldfinches at my thistle feeder all winter.  The last 2-3 weeks they have been absent to occassional.  I live in Kane County.

Marion
"Our lives are enriched not only by the birds we see, but also by the journey we take to see them." ~ Team TLC

celts1

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Re: Goldfinches in central Illinois
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 05:21:00 AM »
Thanks---I DID forget to say that I live in Douglas County and my sister is in Parke County, Indiana so we are down by the Champaign to Terre Haute area.

celts1

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Re: Goldfinches in central Illinois
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 08:43:33 AM »
I was apparently worried for nothing---they have just arrived!!

Marion Miller

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Re: Goldfinches in central Illinois
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2012, 03:36:21 PM »
That's funny Celts.  Right after I replied to this thread I went and did my Project Feederwatch and a nice yellow Goldfinch was eating off the fruit and nut blend seeds in my backyard!!

Marion
"Our lives are enriched not only by the birds we see, but also by the journey we take to see them." ~ Team TLC

celts1

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Re: Goldfinches in central Illinois
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 05:29:38 PM »
 :)

ybcuckoo

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Re: Goldfinches in central Illinois
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2012, 04:57:49 PM »
I don't have my Feeder Watch stats near but this has been a down year for not only A. Goldfinch but House Finch as well. I believe due to the lack of snow cover other food sources were available. My Feeder Watch is conducted at work (on a golf course). At one time this year (early Jan.) I had a flock of 300 House Finches feeding on ash seeds on the course. Yet had a high count of 2 at the feeders.

Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith

celts1

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Re: Goldfinches in central Illinois
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2012, 09:55:34 PM »
Jeff,

We have several feeders in our edge of town backyard and the one reliable bird I've had has been the house finch---many of them. Grackles, lots of sparrows, a cowbird or two, starlings and cardinals and blue jays---that's about the extent of it so far this year. Nothing spectacular for sure---feeding mainly thistle and black oil sunflower seeds. I heard a rufous sided tohee--but didn't see him.

celts1

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Re: Goldfinches in central Illinois
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2012, 09:33:16 AM »
Well, for sure my goldfinches are back from where EVER they have been, and they are ravenous--they are going to keep me broke now buying thistle!!

Linda

Susan Szeszol

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Re: Goldfinches in central Illinois
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2012, 02:40:30 PM »
Hi Celts,

Welcome to the Forum.  Well, scientfic explanations you won't get from me, :) but I can share my observations.  I have had American Goldfinches at my thistle feeder all winter.  The last 2-3 weeks they have been absent to occassional.  I live in Kane County.

Marion

Hi, Celts :) Welcome!
I've had the same experience as Marion. I had record numbers for my yard this winter, with my highest number of 12 Goldfinches. I too have not seen them in the last two to three weeks. I live in Cook County.

Susan 8)
My brother and sister birds, you should praise your Creator and always love him: He gave you feathers for clothes, wings to fly and all other things that you need. It is God who made you noble among all creatures, making your home in thin, pure air. Without sowing or reaping, you receive Godís guidance and protection.
Saint Francis of Assisi

 

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