I don’t know if this is the breeding season or maybe there isn’t much else for the woodpeckers to eat, but I put out suet for them every day. For the last week, I’ve been putting out more because we have so many woodpeckers. We have (in size places), Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers. There are also Pileated Woodpeckers — the really big ones who we see on trees, but never at feeders. There are others that I don’t know if I’ve seen them because they are so similar to the others, I can’t tell them apart.

What’s interesting is that we get both downy and hairy woodpeckers on the same feeder. You can actually see the difference in size between the two otherwise very similar woodpeckers. The Downy is the very small but has some serious attitude issues. The Hairy is about 30% bigger and doesn’t seem to have that same New York street attitude.


Categories: #Birds, #gallery, #Photography, Anecdote, Woodpeckers

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8 replies

  1. Wow, you are seriously lucky to have them in your garden. I see woodies where l volunteer at the nature reserve and also – great spotted and greens and occasionally lesser spotted, but they are quite ‘reserved’ themselves shall we say. They are a bucket list species for me. When out walking l see them also , but unlike other species they are not overly social or gragarious enough to loiter and linger when l am present with my cameras.

    I always have distant shots ..

    Where l used to live the greens were always on my front lawns, but that was a wide lawned garden, with a courtyard garden they are not so ‘HEY l am here!’

    Great shots.


    • Feed them suet. They are CRAZY about it and can’t get enough of it. It’s a bit pricey. I wait for it to go on sale and then I buy a lot at one time. I also cut each chunk in half to try and make it last longer. Still, they REALLY love suet. Except for the big Pileated Woodpecker. They only eat bugs, but all the other woodies love that suet. It’s also very good for them. Lots of energy and it helps them get through the winter. They carry it off in pieces to feed to their babies.

      Suet. I guarantee they will be begging you for more. It takes a few weeks for them to discover it and \tell all the other woodpeckers about it — but it’s worth the effort. Once they get a taste for it, they are yours.


  2. Beautiful. We get those little chaps around here. I see them when I walk in the woods.
    But they are really difficult to photograph – they don’t cooperate at all – move around a lot.
    Doubt I will ever get quality shots like this.


    • Feed them suet. They’ll do ANYTHING you want. We had one clinging to the screen door this morning begging for food. I shoot ALL of those either on the feeder or on the tree right next to the feeder where they nest. It also helps to have a decent camera near at hand. That’s how we got the pileated woodpecker. He was on a tree in the front yard and I just happened to have a Panasonic with an 800mm telephoto lens on it. If it hadn’t been just sitting on the table, I’d NEVER have gotten the photos. If you have to go find the camera, you always lose the show. I leave me best camera and long “birding” lens on the table in front of the windows the face the feeder. The birds have finally gotten so used to me, they don’t fly away as soon they see me and the camera. Now they YELL at me until I feed them. They only fly away when the Duke shows up.


  3. These pictures are lovely, especially the ones with the little house. Really adorable.


    • Thank you. We really are besieged by woodpeckers. In the past two weeks, from a couple of woodpeckers a day, we have four or five species and multiples of each. Woodpeckers are good parents and feed their young much longer than most other birds, so a lot of the food is going to the babies not quite out of the nest.

      The little house was originally a full feeder, but the screen fell out of the bottom and eventually, we got tired of replacing it. But it has two containers for suet, the woodpeckers love it, and it makes a great background for photos except for the hanging rod which is ALWAYS right in the middle of the pictures. One of these days, I need to get a better designed version of the house, but I’m not spending the money until I have no choice. The prices are beginning to go down a little for birdseed and feeders, so if I’m lucky I’ll find one at a reasonable price in the fall.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hope you find a nice feeder at a good price, Marilyn. That is interesting about woodpeckers feeding their young for longer. I didn’t know that. I just love them, but I do enjoy all birds and creatures. I don’t even mind spiders and snakes although I am respectful of them.


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