How to attract woodpeckers?

We have one nicely set up feeder in the middle of our lawn. Lots of good activity. Looking to add a second feeder with suet for the woodpeckers. Can I set up one of the multiple station gizmos that includes a squirrel baffle, or do woodpeckers like to feed in a separate location? 

Well, having a suet feeder hanging from a tree branch can help. I have a few suet cages tacked onto tree trunks but they are often dominated by squirrels. This is something I hang from a wire. I can make you one. Easily. It's just a block of pine and I used a spade bit to drill wide holes, the wider the better. I think those are 1". I then stuff suet in those holes. I make my own and dole it out like peanut butter. I mix different stuff in it to see what they like. I have a couple of downy woodpeckers and a red-bellied woodpecker that are around every day.

Whoops can't post videos. Anyway, I can make one for you.

My personal advice? Don’t. Woodpeckers are beautiful birds and interesting to watch, but if they take a liking to a building, you could quickly be looking at thousands of dollars in damage. (Think of me as the voice of experience here. “My” woodpecker has the uncanny ability to choose to drill at spots where he/she damages the corners of four shingles at a time. The amount of destruction from one little bird is amazing.)

We have several feeders right next to each other and see downy and red-bellied woodpeckers pretty often and occasionally a hairy will visit also.  We have occasionally put out suet, but not regularly.  They seem to like the black oil sunflower seed best, but we also have a mixture with cracked corn and some other seeds - spouse knows the details.

No real trick to it. I have a feeder close to my window, and they come for seed or suet. All kinds, all the time. They share the space with other birds.

1. Have wood siding or shingles.

2. String a cable along the outside somewhere, more or less horizontal.

3. If the cable is outside your bedroom, buy ear plugs.

Dear mjc,

You get it. 

They are pretty, but they are evil, and they are destructive, extremely destructive.



How long does it take to attract birds to a feeder?

A few hours?  or a couple of days?

A pair of downies comes to our suet feeder.  Couldn't put a time range on when they first came by.  They show up fairly often, but then, they know it's there.

And Heynj, happily they seem to have moved on from the siding. : )  Which hopefully means they weren't finding any bugs in there.

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