10 Proven Tips On How To Attract Woodpeckers To Your Yard
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How To Attract Woodpeckers
Woodpeckers are not usual but gorgeous birds. The birds are not very social with humans so, at first, they shy in coming to your yard. You can attract woodpeckers to your garden by offering them their favorite food. If you are trying to attract woodpeckers, you should try to give them a comfortable environment, which caters to their requirements.
i. Create a Perching Space
Woodpeckers visit your yard if you can provide them with bird feeders including tail props. The feet of most members are zygodactyl that means their feet have two back toes and two front toes.
The foot formation of birds is an adaptation that helps them in strongly gripping poles and trees in a vertical position. While climbing, the birds use their back toes and stiff tail feathers for bracing on trees.
Woodpeckers get a proper structure with their tail props when they hang in that vertical position. While making tail props for the birds, provide enough perching space for them. You can also make your own woodpecker feeder by using a bird choice 2-Cake Hanging Suet Feeder that inspires as a template.
ii. Tempt With the right treats
The diet of woodpeckers includes peanuts, berries, sap, mealworms, and other insects but they have a varied diet. Acorns, black oil sunflower seeds, and pine seeds are also eaten by these birds.
Some members are also attracted to grapes, raisins, cracked corn, apples, and other fruits if you provide them in a platform feeder. You can use suet for attracting these feathered creatures that do an excellent job while visiting in your yard.
You should use suet cakes in wire cages or other designed feeders for attracting the birds. Woodpeckers love mixed foods, so mixing foods in a blender is the best method for offering food to woodpeckers. For example, if you are providing them suet of grape-flavored, surround it with peanuts, berries, and sunflower seeds.
iii. Use Woodpeckers specific feeders
You should use feeders with suet cakes included with their designs to attract woodpeckers. This is the easiest way to consider the use of a hanging hopper feeder, special suet plug feeder, or a suet ball feeder for enticing woodpeckers in your yard and to investigate.
Upright feeders are also a good option and they provide comfortable postures while feeding to the woodpeckers. The birds naturally forage near mature trees, so the position of a feeder should be near trees.
Woodpeckers have 3 points of contact including both their feet and their tail that help them in feeding naturally on a tree. Depending upon a bird’s size, they may need a feeder with a tail- prop. When the birds start pecking, they want something to securely press their tail.
iv. Add a “private” bird bath
Like other birds, woodpeckers also need water for drinking and bathing. Thus, to accomplish their needs, they visit a birdbath. As the birds are very shy, they need privacy while bathing, and usually do not visit in gaudy pedestals where many bird species visit for bathing.
They will consider a natural, isolated birdbath or water source. To attract a woodpecker’s attention in your yard, you can create a ground birdbath that has a dripper or a moving water source that is also suitable for the birds.
The birdbath should be installed in a quiet area and a shaded place where other birds cannot intimidate them by constantly visiting in the birdbath. The basin of the bath should be shallow and make some perches nearby where the birds can rest and it also helps the birds to bath comfortably.
v. Keep the snags (dead trees)
Woodpeckers need snags or mature trees because these trees accomplish their various needs such as they provide them food, nest sites, and houses. The birds excavate their nest holes in dead or rotting trees so prefer them for making nests.
Several insects and grubs also live in snags that provide food to the birds and woodpeckers prefer dead trees and snags for foraging. If you want to attract woodpeckers, minimize the use of pesticides and insecticides in your garden so that the insect population can grow and birds can feed upon them.
Along with their needs of food and nesting site, snags are also useful for communicating with other members and used by woodpeckers. Woodpeckers are primary cavity-nesting birds and excavate cavities to make a home.
Even the birds leave your yard, the snags should be further used by other secondary cavity-nesting birds such as owls and chickadees to make their homes.
vi. Create a bird-friendly landscape
Customizing a landscape is important for attracting the right bird in your yard. If you want to attract woodpeckers, you should create landscapes differently from other birds. You should create a bird-friendly landscape by choosing nut and berry-producing trees for your yard, which provide food to the birds especially to the woodpeckers.
Acorns are loved by woodpeckers, so you can think about planting an oak tree in your garden. The birds also feed on pine seeds and sap and they also get shelter in a pine tree, so pine trees are also useful for this purpose.
For making nests, the birds prefer softer woods. You can also plant bushes producing fruits and berries. Dogwood, bayberries, strawberries, cherries, tupelo, mulberries, blueberries, serviceberries, and mountain ash are some suitable bushes for planting in the garden.
vii. Add the right birdhouse (nesting site)
Birdhouses are preferred by woodpeckers. They remember excavating cavities in the trees by living in the birdhouses. If you want to preserve trees from excavating, providing a birdhouse to the birds is the best option to get them away from the trees.
The entrance hole of the birdhouse made for woodpeckers should be 11/2” and it has two small hinges for a lid, a cavity which is 9” to 15” deep from the floor of the box. The size of the entrance hole differs slightly among different species of woodpecker.
Hang the birdhouse in the height of 10 -20 feet and ensure the safety of the house by adding some wood chips to the interior. By doing this, you will encourage woodpeckers to carefully investigate.
viii. Create a private feeding station
Depending upon the particulars of their territory, the woodpeckers have a different attitude toward humans. The birds do not want any disturbance when they have active nests because of their solitary and shy nature.
You can provide them a separate bird feeder and water bath in a separate place away from other stations where other birds including sparrows and finches may feed. This method may help the birds in avoiding stress and also encourage them for visiting the yard continuously.
If a large number of woodpeckers started visiting your yard, install multiple feeders in the garden and spread them out. The feeders should be positioned near mature trees and snags that provide comfort to the birds.
The position of the feeder also protects the birds from communicative diseases by reducing contact with other small, non-aggressive birds.
ix. Keep your birdhouse clean
Wild birds do not prefer dirty or uncleaned birdhouses. If a birdhouse is used by woodpeckers and it left it, there may be mites, lice and fleas are living and waiting for more inhabitants. These birdhouses can cause disease and also spread parasites among the birds. Thus, to prevent the spread of disease, clean the birdhouse properly.
You can use a mix of 90% water and 10% chlorine bleach for cleaning the nest by spraying the formula. Before commencing the next nesting season, remember replacing the wood chips in nest boxes.
The panels of the birdhouse should be movable or hinged to clean the birdhouse easily. The structure of these birdhouses is not weakened while cleaning. After cleaning, leave the birdhouse until spring to welcome woodpeckers in the birdhouse.
x. Feed consistently
The birds may visit your yard and your feeder overnight. As compared to other birds such as chickadees and nuthatches, the nature of a woodpecker is shy and reticent. So, even they get all the essential requirements in your yard, they may take some time to visit there and embrace what you provide them.
Be ready for the long haul. If you want to attract them, you should offer them a variety of feeding options and ready the birdhouse, also offer them water for bathing and drinking.
You can only attract the woodpeckers in your yard if they are already found in your region. Attracting woodpeckers in the yard or feeder is quite challenging for most people, but the challenge is worth it.