How To Attract Finches And Make Watching Bird Feeding More Enjoyable

Finches are popular for their color, but did you know about the many ways you can attract them to your home? In this article, we’ll explore some helpful deterrents on how to get finches right into your backyard and make a bird-watching routine more enjoyable.

Many things will help attract finches, and these include the type of birdseed or feed and what your backyard looks like.

Things To Know About Finches

things to know about finches

Finches typically have a single color or range of colors and patterns. The finches come in many different patterns, with some having solid coloring, while others speckled, mottled, or patchy-looking feathers.

Finches come in various colors, including blue, gray, red, brown, yellow, white, and black.

Female and male finches have very similar plumage. However, female feathers are lighter in color and less vibrant than male finches. Juvenile Finch plumage is very similar to female adult birds, with slightly less intensity of colors.

Finches are small, colorful birds with short bills. They’re around 4-10 inches long and weigh about an ounce. Some species of Finch can be heavier than 3 ounces.

Though Finches exist throughout the world, there is an especially dense population of them in North America. These birds require a lot of space to thrive and should never be kept as house pets if captured illegally or caught in nets.

Finch Feeder Styles

finch feeder styles

There are many different feeders for finches on the market. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular types of feeders and what makes them special:


Tube finch feeders are a type of bird feeder that is shaped like this other type of feeder. They differ, however, in their design to hold the thistle seed and also in size. The size difference accommodates the small seed shape by having tiny openings, which prevents the thistle from spilling out on the ground.

Tube feeders are often equipped with two or more feeding ports so that several finches can eat simultaneously and may also have a tray attached at the bottom to collect any fallen seeds.

Upside Down Tube

The upside-down tube feeder is specially designed to meet the needs of reverse eaters. The perch is positioned over the small hole in these finches, making it impossible for other birds to take their food.

2-in-1 Tube

You can offer finches of any seed with this feeder because the port is adjustable! If you want to give them thistle, adjust it one way. But if you’re in the mood for black oil sunflower seeds, switch sides, and voila!


Finches, like many clingy birds, are attracted to mesh feeders. Mesh feeders typically offer more access to birdseed than tube feeders do. As a result, finches have the option to cling anywhere on the mesh and take as much food from it that they need.

Finch Sacks

Finch sacks are very similar to mesh finch feeders. The only difference is that instead of being made from metal, they’re made with a softer fabric mesh. There’s more space for the birds to cling to compared to the mesh, and hence, it’s lighter weight compared with metal.

Rotating Port

To attract more finches, consider rotating a feeder that has ports in the bottom or top. The perch below the ports will provide thistle to all finches, while the one on top will only be for upside-down eaters.

Steps On How To Attract Finches

steps on how to attract finches

Transforming your backyard to accommodate finches can be a fun and simple process. The right habitat for them will have bright colors and open spaces for flying, as these are the conditions that they thrive in. To do this, below we provide you with a few tips on how to modify your backyard:

Use Best Type Of Seed To Attract Finches

As we’ve mentioned, finches love birdseed the most. They need fresh seeds, leaves, and nuts to survive because they have preferences about what they like to eat.

Finches are attracted to black, oily seeds such as sunflower and nyjer. Dry or dull seeds will not attract the small songbird to your yard because it prefers fresh pickings.

To optimize your finch attraction, make sure you check the feeders regularly to replace seed (or other feeds) if they have not been eaten. They are unlikely to finish a feeder over the span of a week, so don’t worry if there is still seed left in the tube!

Many birdwatchers recommend freezing the seed to keep it fresh.

Fill Your Feeder With Seeds

Secondly, you’ll need to buy seeds. Finches like to eat fresh black seeds, which can be frozen and preserved until they are needed. Black oil sunflower seeds are a good choice for finches because they’re not dry and contain the oils that the birds prefer.

Keep Your Feeders Clean Inside And Outside

keep your feeders clean inside and outside

You must regularly pick up all spilled seeds and hulls from under the feeders to reduce the risks of disease for finches, which scavenge around other birds like doves and sparrows or on the ground. Clean and bright feeders are also a top priority for finches that will avoid dirty areas if possible.

To prevent your feeders from clogging during rain, add weather covers and clean them often. Make sure that food is always fresh inside the feeder and never moldy.

In addition, periodically shake the feeder so that the food is dry and loose. Do not allow any uneaten food to remain inside for more than three weeks.

Offer Only Fresh Seed

Birds specifically prefer fresh seeds, as this is a vital factor. When adding new seeds, one has to get rid of the old ones first. Check the birdseed regularly for any spoilage.

To make Goldfinches happy, buy a feeder that prevents air circulation and traps the seeds from molding. You can also baffle them with fresh water to keep them dry while they eat.

There are many ways to attract finches, but one of the most important things you can do is keep your feeders filled with fresh seeds. If your feeder has an opening from the bottom, fill it up every day instead of filling it up only once a week, for example.

Choose The Best Location For The Bird Feeder

select the best location for the bird feeder

A finch is a prey bird, and, similar to other animals in the wild, and it is under constant threat from predators. This means that they tend to feed in safer environments. To attract them better, don’t simply place your food out on your lawn – make sure you are using a hanging feeder or something otherwise hidden away if possible.

Plant a seasonal seed or put out a finch feeder near shrubs and trees so that the birds can feel at home. Be sure to place it in an area of your yard that’s away from squirrels.

Once the finches become accustomed to your feeder, move it away from trees and shrubs. This will help reduce any issue you may end up having with invasive squirrels who may try to steal food from you.

Add Weeds To The Feeders

Bait feeders may not always attract birds. Birds flying overhead may also lose sight of the bait feeder and miss out on an active feeding area. To draw their attention, try adding natural weeds to the feeder holes or incorporate thistles or dandelions into the design of your existing fake fruit for contrast.

When you install new bird feeders into your garden or back yard, sometimes the birds may not recognize it as a food source and may, in some cases, not recognize that you’re replacing an old one in your place before.

Dandelion and thistle sticks will help attract the finches by providing them with a reliable food source and something to explore.

Temporarily Move Other Feeders

We must realize that it will upset their routine when we introduce a new bird feeder into the environment. Just like humans who have changing habits over time, birds need days and even weeks to adjust to a new feeder.

Birds are naturally very suspicious of new things, so it’s natural to give them space when you start. To bring one into the fold in your backyard, ensure that you take down all the old feeders and place a new one at their favorite bird-watching spot. This will encourage them to investigate what can be found here – and eat!

Add A Birdhouse

add a birdhouse for finches

Finches like to perch in the trees, but you can provide a shelter if they need it or want to avoid inclement weather. You’ll want to purchase a birdhouse that is mountable on a tree so that birds have an easily accessible place to rest any time of the year.

You may also leave out some straw or hay to use as a nesting material should they choose to.

Add Bright Colors

Bright colors attract birds in general, and since finches are mostly found around gardens, it’s no surprise they’ll be drawn to a garden with colorful flowers. If you want finches in your backyard, try placing the bird feeder among the bright flowers.

If your backyard does not have any colorful flowers in it, you may want to plant a few bushes or trees with brightly colored flowers near the place where you plan on placing the new feeder.

Seed-bearing plants are also a key method of attracting finches. A sunflower would be an excellent addition to the attractive finch environment with its bright yellow color and food source that will appeal to these beautiful birds.

Tie Bright Colorful Ribbons

A recent study revealed that finches have great vision and track color from a distance. Many people will place bright ribbons near their feeders to attract finch since the colors stand out in the breeze.

Believe it or not, some people claim that this, a ribbon, assists in attracting the finch.

Install A Bird Bath

install a bird bath for finches

You must make sure there is clean water for the birds to drink and bathe in. Since finch will wash (meaning they need access to drinking and bathing water), your bird watering can become dirty very fast.

Using fresh, clean water in your birdbaths will help make them more alluring to finches. Birds typically avoid drinking from the water they’ve bathed in, so it’s important to regularly replace the bathwater, preferably at least once a day.

Make A Safe Habitat For The Finch To Nest And Live In

One of the best ways to attract finches into your backyard is by providing them with a habitat they enjoy. It’s optimal if you have plenty of shrubs and trees around, as finches love to live in high branches and make their nests in the forks.

Some of the most common trees for finches are apple, dogwood, and fruit trees. Thistles may also be a good choice as they provide refuge from ground-level predators. Finch’s enjoy being high up because it shelters them from predators.

Having thistle around the trees is one good way to attract finches, as they love that. Tall grasses and sunflowers, then, are excellent options, too.

Finches love that you can offer plants in your garden for them to build their nests out of.

Plant Plants Bearing Seeds

To get finches to your backyard, they need more than seed. Finch’s love seeds from plants too. To attract birds to your yard, you can plant cattails and cottonwood trees.

These plants are both great for attracting finches outside of thistle or sunflowers.

Add A Perching Stick

add a perching stick for finches

Goldfinches travel in groups and prefer to wait their turn for a feeding opportunity. For this reason, try adding a perching stick or branch that the birds can easily use when they arrive during your yard feeding time.

Whenever you introduce a new object for the birds, you must ensure it is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. You can clean the brush, whittled with a vegetable scrubber (or soap), then rinse out any remaining water you might have left in the stick. To adequately disinfect your branch and kill any remaining microbes, pour hot water over the branch to be safe.

Common Types Of Finches

Golden Finches

golden finches is common types of finches

The American Goldfinch, also known as a golden finch or simply finches, is one of the most popular birds because they are brightly colored and beautiful.


bullfinches is common types of finches

The Bullfinch is found throughout England, often near woodlands and hedgerows. The male has a distinctive bright pink/red chest with a black cap and tail. Not ambitious about visiting bird tables or gardens while people are home, the Bullfinch will come during harsh weather to search for peanuts and black rapeseed.

House Finch

house finch is common types of finches

House Finch males display a vibrant array of colors spanning from grays and browns to brilliant reds, greens, blues, violets. The coloration of their feathers is due to the carotenoid pigments found in wild food sources.

Common Redpoll

common redpoll is common types of finches

A banded Common Redpoll recovered in Michigan was subsequently tracked to eastern Siberia.

Cassins Finch

cassins finch is common types of finches

Cassin’s Finch is named after John Cassin, an ornithologist during the 1800s. The bird was first collected during a survey in 1850 for the Pacific Railroad.

Purple Finch

purple finch is common types of finches

It is not uncommon to find Pine Siskin gleaning food with mixed flocks of both American Goldfinch and Pine Siskin during the winter. These birds are socially dominant over the goldfinches but subordinate to the siskins when feeding.


greenfinches is common types of finches

The population of the Greenfinch, a type of bird, dropped dramatically during the 1970s and 1980s but increased during the 1990s. It is a regular garden visitor and likes black sunflowers, peanuts, and buckwheat best.

The finch is quite friendly, but it will fight and quarrel with other birds for prime placement at a bird feeding station.


hawfinch is common types of finches

The hawfinch is now almost impossible to see in the UK. The Welsh Borders and southeast from Hampshire to Kent are usually the best areas to spot it as it prefers perching high up in trees. It will also come down closer for fruit, seeds, and peanuts, but especially if you have green peas on offer.

How To Attract Finches FAQs

Do Finches Migrate?

House finches are non-migratory birds, which means they stay within their territory year-round. Some species that migrate seasonally often stay in rural parts of the country, where they feed and breed during the winter months before moving to more temperate areas for the summer breeding season.

Where Do Finches Nest?

Nests in trees do not use a nest box but will take up nesting material if given to them.

What Do Finches Look Like?

Male and females have similar plumage, except the female’s feathers are lighter. Color varies by season in most species, with a few exceptions. Young birds grow up to resemble adult females’ markings.

Where Should I Put My Finch Feeder?

It is best to put your bird feeder in a fairly wide-open area but not too distant from vegetation. Birds feel vulnerable to their predators if you place your feeder too near open space.

However, make sure not to position them too close to the plants either. Just keep them at a distance where the squirrels won’t be able to jump up towards them.

How Do I Clean My Finch Feeder?

Plain dishwashing liquid or bleach-water mixture will help clean feeders, but it needs to be thoroughly cleaned and completely dried for best results. Use a brush to scrub the inside of tube bird feeders well.

How Long Does It Take To Attract Goldfinches?

In a concise time period, yes, just two days to be precise, the birds had found it, and we’re using it as a daily roosting spot. Dozens and dozens of bird species can now be found in this tangled web of limbs day-in and day-out – including goldfinches and house finches.

In Summary

To attract beautiful finches to your backyard, you must provide the right living and eating conditions. The availability of a feeder with healthy birdseed in good condition and keeping up on the upkeep for the area will help ensure that these wild animals are at home in your backyard.

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