Oct 17, 2018 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, October 2018

Woodpecker-Friendly Suet Feeders

A woodpecker partakes from a backyard suet feeder.
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If you get the chance, take a good look at a woodpecker's tail feathers. From the dinky downy to the massive pileated, woodpecker tail feathers are unlike the feathers on the bird's body or wings: They're super strong and rigid, and collectively serve as a stable prop against a tree trunk as a woodpecker hammers it with its bill. A suet feeder designed with a tail prop extending below the suet dispenser mimics a tree trunk and allows woodpeckers to feel comfortable and secure as they dine. Sure, woodpeckers do visit platform, hopper, and even the occasional tube feeder that lacks a tail prop, but a suet feeder with a tail prop, or one hanging against a solid surface such as a tree trunk, is even more attractive to them.



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  • How long do other seeds stay fresk? Sunflower seeds? Millet? Safflower?
    by Sue, Sat, 06 Feb 2021
  • I understand that the ducks' blood vessel arrangement in their feet is to provide the benefits of the counter-current heat exchanger mechanism; returning cold venous blood from the feet is warmed by the descending warm arterial blood, preventing excess heat loss by the feet and avoiding cold blood from chilling the body. This means that the feet are cold, not warm.
    by Frank Barch, Sat, 02 Jan 2021
  • I have the same situation. The feeder is attached to the middle of a large picture window that goes ceiling to floor w/ no ledge or sill for animals to climb or balance. Yet every morning all the sunflower seeds have been cracked open and hulls left. Any ideas what it is?
    by Liza Fox, Sun, 15 Nov 2020
  • I have a bird feeder that sticks to my window and I've been hearing noises against the window at night right now its going on. But whatever it is it is aware of me. And when I get to window it leaves.I can't imagine a squirrel or mouse or possom being able to get at it. ...So as I was reading this article im to assume no bird eats at night. Or no birds will eat at night. Why is that? Then im also thinking of a sinereo that could a lost confused bird eat at night. This eating thing is watching meI turn out the light go there noise dissappears..Thank you.
    by Nosferatu, Thu, 05 Nov 2020
  • I have metal baffles (cones) on my pole for my bird feeders. Something is still tempting them at night. What else could it be? Deer???
    by Ella Spencer Connolly, Thu, 27 Aug 2020