FOR THE MAGAZINE: How do you attract woodpeckers to your yard?

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by sawdust_JCMo sawdust_JCMo 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #5155356 Report Abuse
    Jill Staake
    Jill Staake
    Keymaster

    Birds & Blooms wants to know: How do you attract woodpeckers to your yard?

    Woodpeckers are a favorite backyard visitor. Tell us what you do in your own yard to bring in more of them, whether it be food, shelter, nesting sites, or more. Your answer might be printed in an upcoming issue of Birds & Blooms magazine, so give us your favorite tips and tricks!

    You’re welcome to include photos of your woodpecker backyard habitat. If you need help posting photos, click here.


    Jill Staake (florida33girl@gmail.com)
    Birds & Blooms Community Manager
    Tampa, Florida Zone 9b

    • This topic was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Jill Staake Jill Staake.
    #5155363 Report Abuse
    MDgreenery
    MDgreenery
    Participant

    I don’t know that we intentionally set out to attract them as much as we are blessed to live in a partially hard woodland studded bird loving area.

    But beyond that, we try to sit outdoors when we know the woodpeckers are making their daily rounds from tree to tree. We can also expect the nuthatches on a fairly regular schedule too. Once we know their natural bug napping/tree climbing feeding times then we just sit & wait for them to fly into our yard for a bug filled breakfast or early dinner from one of our trees:-) My husband has gotten really good at identifying the various woodpeckers & their calls/taps.

    We have been fortunate to see such a variety of woodpeckers going about their daily business. If the bugs ever die off I suspect we will not be as fortunate…nor will the woodpeckers & nuthatches that rely on them.


    #5155367 Report Abuse
    Gayle
    Gayle
    Participant

    I don’t do anything special.  I live in a wooded area & they visit the feeders right along with the other birds.  I use a fruit/nut mix bird food & add a small bag of regular seed to the mix.

    I see Red Bellied & Downy Woodpeckers all the time & occasionally a Pileated but can’t get them to the feeders.

    They also visit the suet feeders I put out in the winter.


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    #5155370 Report Abuse

    Hiker07_IL_5
    Participant

    Mostly I just get Downy’s, in the dead of winter I get red-bellied sapsuckers. They love the suet I put I out.


    #5155390 Report Abuse
    CatsBirds
    CatsBirds
    Participant

    We put out a mixture of peanuts in the shell, shelled peanuts, and suets.  I usually put out three or four different kinds of suets. The woodpeckers, Red-bellied, Downy and Hairy, all like the peanut butter kind, and I have a log that my husband drilled out for me and I put a mixture of peanut butter mixed with bird seed in the holes. We have a pair of Pileated in the woods behind us, but as of yet we haven’t gotten them to the feeders. But we will !!!!!


    Sharon, Catsbirds, Community Team Member
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    #5155425 Report Abuse
    Raising_4_Birders
    Raising_4_Birders
    Participant

    We are deer hunters and we hang the chest cavity carcasses up in our woods.  With our long, cold winters the birds really get the benefit from the fat and meat they eat off these.  We get many birds, but the woodpeckers really enjoy it.  We attract downy woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, and pileated woodpeckers.



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    #5155435 Report Abuse
    margba
    margba
    Participant

    I just put out a suet feeder & getb the kind of suet that has a mix of nuts & fruit in it!They really like that kind!  I was just enjoying a pr of hairy wps one day this wk flitting about, pecking the old pine tree right in front of my kitchen window!  Never had I enjoyed washing my dishes more that day! Lol!  i see nuthatches here, downeys, redheaded aside from the hairys!  I would like to know how to attract owls to stick around more here.  I often hear them at nighttime but they arent here all the time.  Wish they would be!  Might have a few less squirrels around here if thevowls were around more!


    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by margba margba.
    #5155484 Report Abuse
    takyslaky
    takyslaky
    Participant

    Well this gal really likes her suet.  I make it homemade from Peanut butter, cornmeal, and sugar with a a little flour and water.  After microwaving it to get the suet to its consistency I add the bird seed and peanuts and at times raisins.  She is a Hairy Woodpecker who visits often as do the Downy, Red Bellied and Pileated Woodpeckers we have in our wooded area.

    Pileated Woodpeckers below

    Male Hairy Woodpecker

    Female Pileated Woodpecker

    Male Red Bellied Woodpecker.  Many times the Woodpeckers will come to this type of feeder for peanuts and seed.  There is a morning dove on the opposite side of the feeder.

    The Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers will eat from any feeder as long as they can get at the feed.   Hairy Woodpecker on the tube feeder.

     

     

     


    #5155596 Report Abuse
    Lair
    Lair
    Participant

    I had my best luck with an old sick tree.  I had lots of wood peckers until I cut it down.  Once it was gone I have had very few.  Lair


    #5155631 Report Abuse

    Posynut_NY_zone4
    Participant

    Just use suet in the suet feeders either store bought or homemade.  They like any kind of suet.  They also like the nut/fruit bird seed in a tray feeder.  I have them year round and we have woods across the street so they aren’t far away from the suet.


    #5155651 Report Abuse
    Donald W
    Donald W
    Participant

    We have a smooth-barked crabapple tree which the woodpeckers like to check out for insects. The trunk has hundreds of little holes, which don’t seem to harm the tree, and we have not had a problem with tent caterpillars for years. We hang a suet cage from the tree, as well as feeders, and the woodpeckers are often at the suet, in summer as well as winter. It is perhaps thirty feet from our back door and kitchen windowS, so we get a lot of pleasure watching them through the seasons.


    Donald W

    #5155658 Report Abuse

    mebutle
    Participant

    We let dead limbs lie.  On the trees, that is.  We don’t prune out deadwood if it’s not threatening the house, and when we had a huge Siberian elm (alien invasive) die, we had it cut down to the point at which it split into two trunks, which left a 14-foot-tall trunk that the woodpeckers and flickers love.  Another favorite of theirs is a very old dogwood that is dying off in sections; we’ve cut very little deadwood out of it and it’s constantly visited by not only woodpeckers and flickers but nuthatches, chickadees, and tufted titmice.


    #5155738 Report Abuse

    Les
    Participant

    I am surrounded by woods and have a red-bellied woodpecker and a red headed one. I have cedar fencing and in the railing slots I put out cracked corn and small black oil sunflower seeds.  I also put the corn and sunflower seeds in feeders. The birds love sticking their heads in the holes to get the food. I also put out Peanut Delight No melt suet dough for year round wild bird feeding. It is manufactured by C&S Products Co., Inc., Fort Dodge, Iowa (made in USA). I buy this at Walmart and it costs about $1.27. Living in Florida where it is hot and humid it does not affect the consistency of the suet dough. The woodpeckers love it as do other birds. I have to take it in at night though or the possums and raccoons will gobble it up in one night. I have woodpecker babies every year as there are old dying, dead trees in the forest. A great place for the birds to play!

     


    #5155811 Report Abuse

    mari b.
    Participant

    The woodpeckers like to get the bugs out of the seed pods on my yucca plants, so I make sure that they keep growing for them. I have about five or six of the yucca plants and they all bloom. I also put out suet with peanuts.


    #5155822 Report Abuse

    raden1
    Participant

     

     

     

                      I am fortunate to live in the country with acreage so I have every kind native to North Mississippi in the wild and at my feeders. Pileated, Downy, Red-bellied, etc.. I leave the dead and rotted trees standing for them to nest and forage for insects and I have the most success with suet at my feeders.


    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  raden1.
    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  raden1.
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