Wild Bird Feeding Industry
Nyjer Guidelines
Nyjer® Seed

A Big Name for a Small Black Seed
Nyjer \ ni-ger \ n (1998)
While "Guizotia abyssinica" is the scientific international classification, some distributors have used the common name "thistle." This has led to the mistaken assumption that Nyjer® seed is related to the thistle weed. The yellow flower of the Nyjer® plant is pictured above.
Nyjer® is a registered trademark of the Wild Bird Feeding Institute, doing business as the Wild Bird Feeding Industry. The Wild Bird Feeding Industry is the trade association for the wild bird and backyard wildlife feeding industry. Membership includes North American packers, distributors, processors, feeder and accessory manufacturers, and retailers.

Nyjer® Background Information
Reprinted from Birding Business Magazine
Where does Nyjer come from? What are the uses for this valuable oil seed? Peter Stangel captured the history of this agricultural product in an article you can read here.

Nyjer® Trademark Usage Guidelines

Retailers and Members of the Industry!
Print off the Quick Facts page on Nyjer to use in your store, your office, and your business! We encourage you to reproduce this page as needed. We're pleased to provide this resource for you.

Bird Feeding Quick Facts for Nyjer

Nyjer® is:

- A name change to eliminate product confusion and the offensive mispronunciation of the word "niger"

- The yellow flowering crop of "Guizotia abyssinica"

- A feed favored by finches for its size and high oil content

Nyjer® is NOT:

- A pink to purple flowering plant of the thistle species

- A perennial or biennial noxious weed

- An aggressive, opportunistic thistle strain from Europe, Africa or Asia

Nyjer® Seed Plant Facts:

- An oilseed crop that is cultivated in Ethiopia, India, Myanmar and Nepal.

- The average plant height is four feet but can be up to seven feet.

- It is traditionally harvested while the buds are still yellow, then stacked to dry.

- The seeds, loosely held in the flower head, are black, club-shaped and narrowly long.

- It is the only major wild bird feed ingredient imported from overseas.

- In 1985, the US Department of Agriculture ruled heat treatment as a "condition of entry."

- In 1997, treatment temperature was set at 250 deg. for 15 minutes to devitalize all weed seeds that may be present.

- It has been marketed as bird seed for about 40 years.