Suet bird feeders!

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  #1  
Old 12-09-12, 07:14 AM
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Suet bird feeders!

So, this year for some reason (advancing age likely, stupid 40's!) I've gotten into birds and bird feeders.

Peanut Blue Jay feeder is a huge with both the Jays and local squirrel population, and a couple of Cardinals that drop in every now and again.

I bought a suet feeder earlier this year. Put good suet in, nobody wanted any. It sat in there for quite a while. Somebody told me it's more of a winter thing for birds. Now it's winter. Pulled out old suet, cleaned it up. Put new suet in....

Nobody's bellying up to the bar! Why don't these bloody birds want my suet!
 
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  #2  
Old 12-09-12, 07:48 AM
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Patience is a big part of the "relaxing" process that comes with bird watching.....

They may be showing up already......usually it happens when you're not looking.

Also......the store bought suet is ok but can be a little pricey.

It will also attract less desirable species like starlings and squirrels etc.

Find a good butcher and buy real beef suet.....I get it for $1.00 a kilo

The birds that have shown up at my suet feeder are.....

- Chickadee
- Nuthatch
- Bluejay
- Downy Woodpecker
- Hairy Woodpecker
- Red Bellied Woodpecker
- Pileated Woodpecker



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  #3  
Old 12-09-12, 07:52 AM
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I think it takes a little while for them to get use to it. Got a nuthatch that will almost grab a peanut out of my hand.
 
  #4  
Old 12-09-12, 07:55 AM
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Is there any seeds in with the suet? That might entice them. If you note Halton's list, woodpeckers are more interested in suet feeders than other birds.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 10:06 AM
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Wifey puts out the ones with nuts and berries in it. Seems to attract the largest group. I certainly hope my Pilated woodpeckers don't come to it. Both of them have wing spans of nearly 3' !! Beautiful birds!
 
  #6  
Old 12-09-12, 01:44 PM
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Nothing neater than a pre historic looking Pilated woodpecker hanging about upside down working on the suet - about six feet from our kitchen window.
 
  #7  
Old 12-09-12, 01:53 PM
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I make my own suet balls. Nothing complicated, mostly whatever we have on hand. I use suet, lard, peanut butter, bacon grease and pack it with seeds, chopped nuts, chunks of fruit etc and then hang it in a mesh bag.

I think the most important part is the seed/nuts. The second most important part is keeping it away from the tree rats.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 02:27 PM
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Panic shot through the window..... .....not the best picture but still waaay cool.

I'm still waiting for that elusive Ivory-Billed.....LOL



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Old 12-09-12, 04:48 PM
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Great picture Halton what kind of bird is that? Kind of looks like a wood pecker but I am not sure which kind.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 05:00 PM
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What a shot!!! That's similar to the size of mine. One will get in front of my truck as I go down the driveway toward the shop (probably 1/4 mile). He can't escape due to the tree overhang and his enormous wingspan, until we get to the shop where there is an opening. Does it several times a week, so they aren't scared of us (nor the Cummins rattling).
 
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Old 12-09-12, 05:06 PM
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Chandler..... ......that must be cool seeing that all the time.

@ hedgeclippers

That's the Pileated Woodpecker......a truly awesome bird.....

Length is 20 inches with a wingspan of 30 inches



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  #12  
Old 12-09-12, 05:09 PM
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Hedge, it is a Pileated Woodpecker, the largest in North America. I live next to an urban forest and I hear them almost every day if I spend any amount of time outside. They have the Woody Woodpecker laughing voice. I've had them in the back yard on occasion.
 
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Old 12-09-12, 06:11 PM
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I've never seen one of those before.....Awesome pic
 
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Old 12-09-12, 08:30 PM
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I had never seen a pileated Wood Pecker before but I once saw a PBS nature show about Wood Peckers. They are smart birds as one species stores nuts usually in a hollow tree. They even guard the tree against invading squirrels. Much more food than any one bird could ever eat but enough for long winters.
 
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Old 12-10-12, 04:30 AM
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Halton, between the A-10 woodpeckers, bats in the summertime, and the red tailed hawks, we are entertained quite a bit.
 
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Old 12-10-12, 05:05 AM
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@ Chandler......we are very lucky.....99% will never see a Pileated.....

@ hedgeclippers......they were probably Acorn Woodpeckers......








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  #17  
Old 12-10-12, 05:10 AM
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Indeed that Pilated woodpecker is pretty cool looking. I'm pretty sure we don't have them around here.

Thanks for the advice guys. I am using the store bought stuff, about $2/square so not too expensive at this point. I did get the one with seeds mixed into it.

I'm not sure patience is the issue. The first one I had in there sat for about a month, but that was in the summer, before I realized this is more of a winter thing. This one has also been in there for about a month now, but we've got snow now. Who knows. I'll keep replacing it and see what happens.

I know birds do take their time figuring this stuff out. The Jays (and squirrels) didn't get used to the peanut feeder for several weeks. Once they did, at around 4pm when I got home from work and they heard me taking out my ladder to fill it the heard of squirrels would start circling (driving high prey drive dogs crazy) and the jays (several) would come out of nowhere.
 
  #18  
Old 12-13-12, 12:57 AM
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I have one of those squrral proof feeders that if a squrral lands on it there weight shuts the door. I have it hanging on a sheppards hook poll in the middle between 2 trailers. It took a while but once the brids found out it was there it was a feeding frenzy. I use the bag wild birdseed from the petstore hardware store. holds a 2 pound bag I think and its empty within 48 hours.
 
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