Niger seed is usually sold in plastic bags, and its aging may accelerate once 
the bags are opened to the air. I pour it all into a big plastic jug with a 
screw cap. In this hermetic environment its shelf life seems pretty good, as 
the following experience attests. 

Late one autumn I bought a bag of niger in anticipation of winter Redpolls who 
never showed up. I put it in a jug, and the jug got pushed behind other stuff. 
I forgot all about it until the following summer. When I rediscovered the jug, 
I thought about discarding the seed, but it smelled OK, so I put some out as a 
trial, and the Goldfinches were very happy with it. I kept putting it out and 
they ate their way through the entire jug. So, eights months on my back shelf 
in an airtight jug didn’t render it unacceptable to the birds.


> On Oct 1, 2019, at 9:48 AM, Geo Kloppel <> wrote:
> My experience is that niger can get moldy rather quickly in an outdoor feeder 
> exposed to high humidity, fog, rain or snow. Niger seeds pack very close, so 
> there’s not much air circulation through the pile, and the voids between 
> neighboring seeds are tiny, so capillarity is enhanced. I find it best to 
> load only what will be consumed in one day.
> -Geo
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Oct 1, 2019, at 8:59 AM, Randolph Scott Little <> wrote:
>> Goldfinch feeding preferences just might have something to do with the state 
>> of niger thistle seed.
>> I have been informed that niger seed has very short shelf life, that it 
>> should only be purchased in small quantities, and that feeders should be 
>> refilled from the bottom so old seed does not accumulate.
>> Can anyone substantiate this?
>> Good birding,
>>                     Randy
>> Randolph Scott Little
>> 111 Berkeley Circle
>> Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
>> Phone: (908)221-9173
>> or
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