Happy Weekend!

You may remember a while back when I posted a picture of my first ever pileated woodpecker stopping by for a visit. Since then I realized I actually have both a male and female visiting. One day, to my shock and delight, both came down to eat at the exact same time.

They normally take turns at the suet feeder that hangs on the right of the pergola but one day I looked out to see both feeding, the male on the suet feeder on the right side of the pergola and the female from the suet feeder hanging on the left side of the pergola. I so wish I could have gotten a photo of the two of them feeding at the same time, but when I tried the female spotted me and flew off.

When the first pileated woodpecker visited, I had a normal length suet feeder hanging from the pergola. The only reason he was able to visit the feeder was because it hangs against one of the large support/posts of the pergola, so the post gave him a place to prop his tail.

Pileated Woodpecker eating suet


If you would like to attract pileated woodpeckers to your yard, you may want to consider buying a suet feeder with a much longer tail prop at the bottom. After I realized I had a pileated visiting, I ordered this suet feeder with the longer tail prop from Amazon.

The other thing I really like about this feeder is the openings are much larger than my old suet feeder (above) which I think really helps Mr. Pileated get his larger beak through to the suet. Now that I think about it, I should probably order a second one since Mrs. Pileated  is occasionally visiting at the same time. I can always hear her “talking” in the trees while he feeds and as soon as he leaves, she flies down to have a turn.

Suet Feeder for Pileated Woodpecker


Suet for the non-clinging birds 

This winter has been sooo cold. Recently I noticed something I’d never seen before…the bluebirds were trying to cling onto the front of the suet feeder and eat. Bluebirds are not the clinging type, they much prefer to sit and enjoy their meal. I noticed they were having a very hard time trying to cling onto the suet feeder and usually just gave up.

I remembered I had a small plastic dish that I used to put meal worms in before I purchased the rail feeder. So here’s what I did and it worked great! I took one of the suet cakes I purchased at my local birding store, broke off a big chunk and crumbled it up into the little plastic feeding dish. The dish has two small holes in the bottom so that allowed me to tie it to the dormant branches of the hibiscus on my deck.

The birds that aren’t good clingers absolutely LOVE it! They go through the suet in about 3 days. Below you’ll see a bluebird and a Goldfinch vying for who gets to eat first.

Goldfinch and Bluebird Eating Suet 2


Suet really helps the birds this time of year when it’s so cold out. This is a great way to offer suet to birds who can’t cling onto a typical suet feeder to eat.

Bluebird and Goldfinch eating suet 2


Now that I’ve figured out how to make a slider, I put together a slightly longer one (38 seconds) than the one I posted yesterday of the bluebirds feeding. This slider shows the other two little bluebirds joining in. Hope you enjoy! Oh, and see if you can spot the other bird that does a quick photo bomb in the background. lol I think it’s a Goldfinch.

Pssst: Click the little bracket box in the lower right corner next to words “You Tube” to watch the slider full screen. Click the little half circle in the lower left corner to replay it again. Hit the “escape” button when done.

Have a wonderful weekend! See you on Monday for Metamorphosis Monday!

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  1. Thanks for the reminder to fill my birdfeeder! We have a woodpecker, too.

  2. I’ve had every kind of woodpecker on my cranberry fare cylinder from Wild Birds Unlimited except a pileated. They are so big that I’m not, sure I want them around. I’d hate for them to start pecking on the house! We so enjoy watching our birds. We’ve had 26 different kinds so far. Unfortunately, one bird was a hawk that had one of my finches as his lunch.

  3. I didn’t know about longer tail prop feeders, going to show this to Joe. Thanks!

  4. Julia Howdeshell says

    Thank you so much for posting your bird photos and for the good advice. I live in Texas so we have different birds but I just love watching them. Thank you again for sharing.

  5. Susan, I thoroughly enjoyed this! I only use thistle tube feeders and a squirrel-proofed black oil sunflower feeder in winter months, but I love the idea of birdbirds.

  6. I love love your porch railing mealworm feeder. Would you mind sharing where you purchased it? Thanks so much! Your blog is delightful!

  7. Mary from Virginia says

    Love your posts about birds! You are a wealth of information and I truly appreciate your pictures, dialog, and your whole blog!

    I was going to ask about the blue bird feeder, and see you have answered that for another reader. Good to know!

    I put suite out this year, and all of the birds have loved it. It is gone in no time.

    Thanks for the weekend post!

  8. Cherylan Hannahs says

    We wired two of the cheep metal suit feeders together, putting the little doors on the side so it is easy to fill. We have small, medium and
    large woodpeckers visit……the larger ones use the upper feeder and rest their tails in the lower one….Easy and cheep.

  9. We also feed the garden birds. , they are good fun to watch, just wish more exotic ones would appear lol. No chance of the ones you have at your feeders Susan. So far Dunnocks, and a robin hiding in the conifer, but fun all the same.

  10. I love reading your posts on birds. My feeder is just outside my “work station” window because I work from home. We keep it nice and full for the birds we still have during the winter. It’s snowing right now and, of course, so cold. The bluebird is the state bird of NY but I have never seen one so thank you for sharing!!

  11. I love your birding posts – keep them coming! Do you ever have trouble with black birds or other nuisance birds? I have managed to attract several cardinals this winter with my Droll Yankee Whipper feeder (I only use safflower in it) I have been overrun by black birds and changed my suet feeders to an upside down feeder. I can only use caged bird feeders with the songbird seed. I am going to try to do mealworms this spring. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Lynn! Off and on I do. Last week the crows were trying to get to the feeders a lot but this week, not so much. The two feeders I use are not very crow friendly. They both respond to weight and shuts down. Plus, the perch on both feeders is close enough that they have to really work at it to stay on the feeder. So far they haven’t been bothering the meal worms. The biggest issue I have with crows is when they sit in the trees and scare all the other birds away. Fortunately, they don’t do it a lot. I saw some birds last week that I think were grackles in the trees, but I never saw any on the feeders. Maybe they are afraid to come so close to the house because the feeders hang right off the decks. If you google them and look at google images, they are beautiful scary looking as all get out! Their eyes!!!

  12. I found your suet feeder on Amazon. Great idea since I have lots of woodpeckers too. Today for the first time that I’ve seen, we had a Flicker on my suet feeder. Lots of birds out because it is snowing, 7 inches so far.

    • Sandy, I had my very first Flicker ever last week…at least it’s the first one I’ve ever seen in person. I was sooo excited! Do you get crazy excited when you see a bird for the first time in person. πŸ™‚

  13. Joyce B in Atlanta says

    Nice post about the birds, and good pointer on feeding suet to non-clingers. For those worried about woodpeckers pecking on their houses, there is little to fear. During mating season, woodpeckers peck violently against trees to attract mates. Usually, they find a dead and hollow tree. In our well manicured yards, they somehow learned that pecking on metal gutters can be heard much farther away. They are amazing birds with heads and tongues that have developed to protect their brains, and to find food hidden deep in tree crevices. I had the first Pileated visit our yard this past fall. Amazing birds!

    • Thanks, Joyce! I think I may have had a woodpecker once attack the wood trim pieces on my chimney. I replaced those with hardiplank though so if he tries that again, he will be in for a surprise. πŸ˜‰ It is amazing how efficient they are with those beaks. I guess it’s good when they are ridding the trees of insects. They are amazing! It’s like getting a glimpse back into prehistoric times, isn’t it? I love seeing them!

  14. lenda davis says

    Sent this on to my daughter, she loves birds too. She was feeding then, thanks for all the info. Keep up the Good work. Looking forward to spring.

  15. We buy wild bird seed and fill our feeder approximately every other day. I never thought to put suet out but I will buy some this week. We also put food out for the squirrels and they let us know when they need more. They also make a mess all over the snow but I don’t care, I would much rather feed them.

    • Patty, they will love you for it! The love it during the winter but they will also eat it during summer. I noticed my birding store has a no-melt kind that’s great for summer. Winter is when they need it the most, though. Yeah, they make a mess on my deck rails, but I don’t care. The joy they give is totally worth it.

  16. Linda S. in NE says

    Susan, I am glad you took the time to post on this Saturday. I learned several things from it. In particular the fact that there is such a thing as longer tail prop feeders, and the need for them. I also was not aware that some smaller birds do not like to cling on a suet feeder, but would rather sit and eat.
    I also respectfully disagree with the person who said that there is little chance that woodpeckers will peck on wood siding of a house. We used to live in a cedar-log home in western Nebraska, and woodpeckers were not friendly to our logs!

    • Thanks, Linda! Both my pileated woodpeckers stopped by today and they ate a long time. I hadn’t seen them in a few days so was glad to see them again. πŸ™‚

  17. Speaking of flickers; when we lived in our last house which was up in the wooded hills, we had flickers who used to peck on the metal outlet to the fireplaces, on the roof.
    One day, my new neighbour said her husband was take the toilet apart as he thought he had a plumbing problem. We told him about the flicker and lo and behold, that was what it was, after he had dismanted half the bathroom!! πŸ™‚
    We hang those feeders that have the suet balls drop down when the previous one is eaten. Only the finches and chickadees can hang from that one, but when we dismantle the fountain, hubby puts a board across it and places a dish with all sorts of goodies for them including a seed bell, which they demolish in two days.

  18. Hi Susan,
    Don’t worry about your always informative bird posts…..they are fine. And that is what makes you, you! You write about what you like. Joyce B in Atlanta’s comment about woodpeckers pecking on her metal gutters reminded me about the woodpecker that comes to our street and pecks on the very tall streetlight. We thought he was a little off, but now I see he is pretty smart. I hope he returns this spring! Best, Dotti

  19. Hi, Susan…your birds are beautiful…love woodpeckers and have never seen one in person. πŸ™
    I have been searching for a red and white buffalo king bed skirt like yours and have had no luck. Could you share with me where you got it ? I surely would appreciate any help you might have for me…of course, I want the shams, too. πŸ™‚
    Thanks, bj

    • Thanks, BJ! I had to have the bedskirt custom made because my bed is so tall…bedskirt has a 25″ drop. The duvet came from Williams-Sonoma a few months ago. I found out that sometimes WS sells fabric by the yard but they didn’t for this particular duvet/fabric. So, I ended up buying a bunch of their tablecloths that were made out of the same fabric as the duvet. I found them on eBay for a lot less than they were going for at WS. Probably your best bet would be to buy the fabric and make one or have it made. Country Curtains sells buffalo check curtains and I just looked and they do sell the red/white fabric here: http://www.countrycurtains.com/product/07095m896+buffalo+check+fabric.do?sortby=ourPicks&refType=&from=Search

      You can pay a small amount…I think $3 and they will send you a sample of the fabric. I did that before I ordered yellow and white buffalo curtains for the office. I paid extra to have Country Curtains line them for me. They turned out really nice. You can see them here: https://betweennapsontheporch.net/buffalo-check-curtains-for-the-office-welcome-to-174th-metamorphosis-monday/

      I wonder if Country Curtains would make you a bedskirt…might be worth calling them to ask. If they don’t do that, I’d just order a sample of the fabric, see how you like it and if you do like it, you may want order enough for a bedskirt and have someone make it for you in the size you need. I love buffalo check so I know your bedskirt will be beautiful!

  20. Bring it on I say! I love the bird stories.

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