I purchased a sock filled with thistle and a large bag of bulk thistle from the same store. The sock is hung and the bulk thistle is in a feeder, but the birds don't eat from either.

Is there anything wrong with this thistle or is there something else going on? How can I tell if thistle has gone bad?

Also, if needed, what is the best way to dispose of thistle? I imagine dumping 10 pounds of thistle would start a thistle invasion!

  • Only certain birds like Goldfinches ( in US ) eat thistle seed. – blacksmith37 Jun 17 '19 at 18:34

It looks like birds won't eat it once the seed dries out and not all birds like it so I would make sure that you have the right types of birds in your area. Sometimes the birds would also rather eat wild seeds instead of from feeders.

Also, it's not actually thistle seed, it's just called that for marketing purposes and it's sterilized by heat so you don't need to worry about thistles coming up from the seeds.


We have several feeders. Chickadees will eat nyger until the sunflower feeder is empty. Gold finch and purple finch seem to prefer the nyger seed. So far the only bird that eats millet seed (found in cheap mixes) are juncos and then only after it's been on the ground for a week or so.

By far the favourites at our feeders are the black oil sunflower seeds, and the lard-oatmeal bricks I make up.

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