Free flowing seeds such as sunflower and nyjer require a specialised cylindrical seed feeder enclosed in wire mesh to which birds can cling as they feast. When filled with a variety of seeds, these feeders attract sparrows, finches, siskins and tits. Some seed feeders utilise a tray to catch spilled seed, but versions without this addition are better at keeping away larger competitors.
A particular delicacy for finches and siskins, nyjer are the diminutive black seeds of the thistle plant. Nyjer feeders often take the form of a clear plastic or glass tube with several perches at tiny openings along the side of the tube. This structure allows multiple birds to feed at once and can make for some lively bird watching.
Other feeders designed for nyjer seed take the form of a tube or pouch made of a fine mesh nylon fabric. While pouch style feeders are an inexpensive way to draw the colorful songbirds to your garden, they are not as durable and can actually present a danger to clinging birds, who might get their claws entangled in the fabric. Seed feeders can be suspended or pole mounted, while the mesh bag feeders must be hung. Loading either style of feeder usually requires pouring the seed into an opening at the top of the tube.