Oct 17, 2018 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, October 2018

Woodpecker-Friendly Suet Feeders

A woodpecker partakes from a backyard suet feeder.

If you get the chance, take a good look at a woodpecker's tail feathers. From the dinky downy to the massive pileated, woodpecker tail feathers are unlike the feathers on the bird's body or wings: They're super strong and rigid, and collectively serve as a stable prop against a tree trunk as a woodpecker hammers it with its bill. A suet feeder designed with a tail prop extending below the suet dispenser mimics a tree trunk and allows woodpeckers to feel comfortable and secure as they dine. Sure, woodpeckers do visit platform, hopper, and even the occasional tube feeder that lacks a tail prop, but a suet feeder with a tail prop, or one hanging against a solid surface such as a tree trunk, is even more attractive to them.

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