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How to Attract Goldfinches

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how to attract goldfinches

Goldfinches are a sight to behold when they visit your backyard. They are excellent acrobats that have the ability to hang from almost any angle. The way they do roller coaster flights across the backyard is a sight that every birder will love to watch.

But how to attract goldfinches? There are different ways that you can attract goldfinches into your home. These steps can be done to make sure that the birds will be interested in coming to your place.


Use a Goldfinch-friendly Bird Feeders

cage bird feeders

Goldfinches are bird species that like to eat in bird feeders, especially those that can accommodate the seeds they like. However, these birds are also very passive, which means they will immediately give way to other birds easily.

With this non-aggressive behavior, it is a must to use a bird feeder that they can only use for themselves to avoid competition. This step ensures that they can have a place to eat without worrying other dominant birds from eating the bird food intended for them.

A cage bird feeder is perfect for goldfinches. This type of bird feeder will keep large birds from accessing the bird seeds and will only accommodate small birds like the goldfinches. A cage bird feeder can also help keep racoons, squirrels, and other pests from eating the bird seeds.

An ideal cage bird feeder must be around 15 inches long from top to bottom. It should have the ability to hold at least a pound or more of bird seeds. It will be better to have feeding ports on the feeder to ensure more birds can eat at the same time.

Give Goldfinches Bird Seeds for their Food

Goldfinches are granivorous by nature, which means they like to eat bird seeds. In fact, their diet consists mainly of seeds. However, goldfinches also devour the bark of young twigs, maple sap, and fresh tree buds from time to time.

Once you already have the right bird feeder, the next thing to do is put bird seeds that goldfinches like. Since goldfinches like bird seeds, the best way to attract them is to provide them with the bird seeds they want to eat. There are two seeds that you can give to these birds:

Sunflower Seeds

sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are the primary bird food that goldfinches prefer. Most of the backyard birders observe that the birds like to eat more of these supplementary foods rather than those natural foods found in the garden. Goldfinches likes sunflower seeds shelled and fresh

Nyjer Seeds

nyjer seeds for indigo bunting

Nyjer seeds is an excellent bird food for goldfinches. This bird species has developed a unique way of eating this tiny seed. Goldfinches come with pointed sharp beaks which is the right fit in opening the shell of the niger seed.

When it comes to feeding their hatchlings, goldfinches also like to feed their babies with regurgitated seeds. So, it will be wise to plant seed-bearing flowers such as coneflowers and sunflowers to help attract these birds into your backyard.

Goldfinches Likes Freshwater Sources

how to attract goldfinches to your garden

In learning how to attract goldfinches to your garden, providing them with fresh water sources in the backyard can also be done. There are several types of freshwater sources that you can provide in your garden:


Having a birdbath in your backyard can help entice these birds and start flying in your backyard. An ideal goldfinch bird bath should have a shallow basin enough for the birds to have easy access to the water.

An American goldfinch has an average height of around 4.3 inches. With this size, the birdbath should be 1 to 2 inches deep, while the edges must be an inch deep while sloping it down to a maximum of 2 inches deep in the middle of the basin.

The water level is also very important to allow the goldfinches to have an easier time drinking or bathing. Making the birdbath deeper than half of the height of the bird must be avoided because they will not be comfortable standing in the basin.

Fountain or Dripper

Putting up a fountain or a dripper in your backyard can also provide a unique water source for the goldfinches. The flashing sounds created by these water sources can draw the interest of these acrobatic birds.

But when it comes to these water sources, it is essential to clean them regularly to make the water clean all the time. Proper cleaning can also prevent spreading diseases that can infect an entire flock of birds.

Dense Trees and Shrubs are Goldfinches Preferred Shelter

Providing a shelter that they like will also help entice these birds in coming into your garden. Most goldfinches like dense trees and shrubs to serve as their shelter. These birds also want to stay in bushes for extra protection.

With this preference, the goal is for you to design your backyard to make it more appealing to goldfinches. Planting seed-bearing flowers that I mentioned earlier is a good start. You can also start planting trees and shrubs around your place.

If planting trees is not an option, having a tall brush pile in your backyard can be an excellent alternative. It can provide a supplemental filter for these birds but will probably not be used all the time.

Nesting Requirements for Goldfinches

Unfortunately, goldfinches do not like to use artificial birdhouses. They are not cavity-nesting birds, but having to provide a shelter described above, right in your backyard, can also help them look for a place to raise their kids.

The best way to help them nest at your place is to provide them with nesting materials. They like to nest in shrubs and scattered trees. So, if you have a backyard full of shrubs and scattered trees, it can invite goldfinches to nest in your area.


If you want to be entertained in your backyard, learning how to attract goldfinches is an excellent idea. These birds are very passive, but their acrobatic and flying capabilities make them superb visitors in your backyard.

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