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Old 17-04-2019, 06:14 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default The niger seed problem

On 17 Apr 2019 09:49, Another John wrote:
(I may have posted this problem a couple of years ago, but if I did, the
thread soon spiralled off into not-very-useful ponderings!)

Do others have a problem with niger seed detritus? I'm looking to
improve my solutions.

Here's our niger seed feeder station (merely the latest in years of


The hangers are an old hanging basket framework, and the tray is a
builders' mixing tray, resting on the bottom flower basket.

We get _loads_ of what looks like waste, but in fact it's a husk/seed
mix (along with 'bird-waste'), which I am calling detritus.

The birds love to sort through the detritus (as you can see), but it
isn't half a mess! I devised the tray solution because the seeds that
escaped the birds would germinate, and got so thick around the feeder
that the lawn mower would hardly cut them. A few points:

- (Yes - I know that niger seed is _supposed_ to be sterile, but I've
never found that, even though I use a good source.)

- The detritus gets everywhere, despite the tray.

- I've taped over a few of the holes in the feeders themselves, to
reduce the amount being spilled.

- The Contraption blows over in a wind, so it has to be 'nailed' down
with pegs (which are out at the moment, in that picture). This makes
it much harder to move (I mean: I have to blinking well bend over!
Several times!)

I'd like to reduce the amount of detritus, and I'd like The Contraption
to be easier to move. I have a few thoughts for improvements, but
here's a good place - as it were, round the table in the pub -- to air
the topic in case bright ideas spring forth.


PS You can see goldfinches and redpolls in the picture; waiting in the
bushes are the siskins. This winter I once counted over 50 redpolls and
siskins, who seem to flock together.

PPS Sorry about Tinypic -- infested with ads and click-heres, these days.

We gave up on Niger seed years ago when we turned one feeder into
serving sunflower hearts and the birds then proceeded to ignore the
Niger seed.

Bob Hobden

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