Updated: Jun 8
The thistle feeder is a specialist feeder. It is used almost exclusively to hold thistle seed, also known as nyjer seed. Learn how to shop for thistle feeders, here!
Before we address our recommendations for thistle feeders, there are two items I need to address:
I am linking to several product listings on Amazon for your convenience. However, as an Amazon Associate, I do earn from qualifying purchases. I do not earn any commissions for recommending certain products, though.
Thistle seed attracts finch species such as American Goldfinch, House Finch, Purple Finch, Cassin's Finch, and Common Redpoll. I have also seen Dark-eyed Junco and Green-tailed Towhee feed on thistle feeders. Since the American Goldfinch is widespread, this feeder type is frequently found in backyards. We recommend mesh screen thistle feeders for this category. Why? No feeding ports! Again, keep reading and you will discover why feeding ports are the scourge of feeding birds.
With thistle feeders in mind, we offer our recommendation. The Stokes Select 38194 Bird Feeder from Amazon is a reasonably-priced thistle feeder and being a slightly smaller feeder (0.5 lbs), you are less likely to waste thistle seed. It is also easy to clean, with few moving parts. If you are looking for a larger version, the Stokes Select Thistle Finch Screen Bird Feede from Amazon can hold twice as much seed (1.1 lbs). To shop around other thistle feeders, you can check more out here.
Best "Flocking" Thistle Feeder: Stokes Select Bird Feeder - Amazon
For thistle feeders, this one is hard to beat in its high online ratings.
Best Budget Thistle Feeder: C&S 3 Pack of Nyjer Sacks - Amazon
You know what is great about the "sock" thistle feeders? They are easy to clean! Just pop them into the washing machine with a little soap and bleach, give them an extra rinse, and then dry them! Easy bird feeder cleaning! If you are feeding on a budget, the thistle sock is the absolute way to go. You can buy a single sock if you only have room for one, but you can also purchase the three pack, like pictured above.
Best Large Thistle Feeder: Woodlink Magnum Thistle Feeder - Amazon
If you have enough finches visiting your feeders that you need a feeder capable of holding 5 lbs of nyjer seed, then please send an invite to us for a visit to your house! We would love to see all those finches!!
Want to learn more about the best birdseed to buy? Visit our post discussing birdseed!