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A type of oilseed, Nyjer is popular birdseed because after sterilization it will not sprout if spilled and because it is an exceptional energy source for birds. The basic nutritional components of Nyjer are:
Because of this composition, Nyjer is especially popular as a winter bird food, when birds require foods with more oil and a higher calorie content so they can store fat to survive colder temperatures. The high protein content in Nyjer is also useful for regenerating feathers when birds molt in the late fall and early spring.
While all these birds will enjoy Nyjer if it is offered, not all of them will eat it exclusively. Goldfinches, redpolls, and siskins, however, will often eat nothing but Nyjer if it is readily available.