atariatari
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preventing yellow finches from eating cone flowers

anyone got a method for preventing the petals of the cone flowers from being stripped by yellow finches?

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Kisal
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You would have to put some kind of net cover over the flowers, something like bird netting. Most home improvement stores sell that to use to protect berry bushes, for an example.

That's the only solution I have, anyway. :)
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rainbowgardener
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Put out thistle seed feeders for the goldfinches. They prefer the thistle seed and will be more likely to leave your coneflowers alone, at least until the coneflower sets seed. It is the seed they are looking for.

Personally, I love the goldfinches, which are so brilliant in their summer plumage, and would gladly sacrifice a few petals to keep the finches in m garden...
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atariatari
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thanks, covering the flowers seems kinda too much, cant really appreciate the blooms then,
I have several thistle feeders set out but the red headed finches and sparrows are the only birds frequenting them.
wonder why only the gold finches find the cone flowers attractive?
they also go after the zinnias, but not the daisies. go figure.

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applestar
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I love gold finches too. Why don't you want them to eat your flowers? I plant cone flowers and smaller headed sunflowers so they WOULD visit and eat whatever stage of the flowers they want.

I think when they are digging around in the flowers, they are hunting up those tiny inchworms that like to burrow in the flowers for the pollen and eventually eat the seeds when they develop. They probably feed them to their young. They also skim and eat aphids off the fruit tree and golden honey locust tree leaves.

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rainbowgardener
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Look for the upside down feeder tubes (with the holes below the perches)

[url=https://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=202957376&storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&ci_sku=202957376&ci_kw=%7bkeyword%7d&kwd=%7bkeyword%7d&cm_mmc=shopping-_-googleads-_-pla-_-202957376&ci_gpa=pla]upside down feeder[/url]

for some reason gold finches can use these and the sparrows and house finches can not manage to hang upside down like that.

Once the house finches and sparrows have found your (right side up) feeder, they are dominant and keep the goldfinches away.

PS you can find them cheaper other places. An eBay one I had linked to, when I went back and tested the link it didn't work.
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lynnj
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Goldfinches have also been eating the leaves of my sunflowers leaving only the spines. I also have a thistle feeder a few feet away but the still eat only the leaves until the flower is ready. They leave all the other flowers alone. Makes my plant look so sad.

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applestar
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I admit I could be wrong, but I've never seen gold and other finches eat greens for greens sake. Usually there are some kind of seeds involves.

I suspect that your sunflowers are infested with sucking insects that congregate under the leaves. In my garden, most typically, they are lace bugs and tree hoppers, sometimes leafhoppers also. See if there are ants marching up and down the sunflowers -- they are useful guides when used for finding them.

In my garden the finches are currently eating lyreleaf sage seeds that have gone to seed (I hope they eat most of them so the sage doesn't spread too quickly). A little while ago, they were taking apart chickweed seed pods and scattering beet, mustard and kale seeds from the plants I allowed to go to seed.

bugme
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preventing yellow finches from eating cone flower

You could try using a thistle sock. It is a thistle feeder made of white mesh. They cost only $3 for a large one. Make sure you refridgerate the thistle seed as it will go rancid fairly easily and the birds won't eat it.

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