GET WILD ABOUT WOODPECKERS!
Close to twenty species of woodpeckers live in North America. Most woodpeckers live all year in the same area and don’t migrate. Woodpeckers can be found in a variety of habitats including farmlands, open woodlands, orchards, oak and pine woods, parks and gardens.
Woodpeckers are very beneficial to our environment. They eat thousands of wood boring insects and other garden pests. You can usually observe most woodpeckers spiraling around a tree trunk in search of food. Attracting woodpeckers to your own backyard is very enjoyable and these perky birds will reward you by eating insect pests in your garden such as crickets, ants, grasshoppers, flies, spiders, wasps, beetles, and grubs. A single flicker can eat thousands of carpenter ants in one day!
ATTRACTING WOODPECKERS TO YOUR BACKYARD
Here’s some great tips on how to get these perky birds to visit your backyard:
- Woodpeckers dine mostly on insects, but will also eat acorns, nuts, fruit, sap, berries and pine seeds.
- Suet, suet and more suet! Offering suet in your backyard is the best enticement to attract woodpeckers. Smear suet in the bark of a tree, offer suet cakes in wire cages or other specially designed suet feeders. We also have ready to use suet cakes available in a variety of peanut, seed, berry and raisin flavors for home delivery.
- Woodpeckers will come to your backyard feeder if you have plenty of perching space and offer their favorite food: black oil sunflower seed. Select a platform feeder or seed feeder with lots of perching space. Some woodpeckers will be attracted to cracked corn or grapes, raisins and apples on a platform feeder.
- Create or preserve a snag in your backyard. A snag can be an old dead tree or tree stump. Snags are extremely important for providing food, nest sites and homes for woodpeckers. Many woodpeckers prefer dead or rotting trees for excavating their nest holes.
- Mount woodpecker houses around your yard. See our nesting box dimensions chart for specifications on some familiar woodpeckers and their preferences.
- Plant an oak tree. Woodpeckers love acorns!
- Plant a pine tree. Woodpeckers will love the shelter they provide as well as eat the pine seeds and sap.
- Lots of woodpeckers relish the sugar water found in hummingbird feeders. If they are feeding at your hummingbird feeder, enjoy! If you want to offer this treat, make sure your choice of hummingbird feeder has large ports to accommodate their beaks.
- Plant a berry or fruit producing bush or tree such as dogwood, serviceberry, tupelo, mountain ash, strawberry, cherry, grapes, bayberry, holly, blueberries, apples, mulberry, brambles, and elderberries.