For years, I found myself under the misapprehension that I was feeding my finches and chickadees “real” thistle seed. I remember frequently wondering why thistle did not grow under the bird feeders where feed frequently spilled.
The commonly called “thistle” used by birders is actually nyger seed (related to sunflowers). The small black oil seeds are the favorite food of many songbirds, and as I recently noticed finches and chickadees visiting my garden’s many bird feeding stations, I added a finch feeder.
I have a connection to Scotland through my husband and the Scottish national flower is the thistle. Although my birds are not feasting on this national treasure, I still in my own mind will call it thistle.
Here is a lovely thistle charm even Miss Marple would adore.