Our Tail Prop Suet Feeder Works!
If you look closely at the photo above, you can see a woodpecker on our new suet feeder in the yard. It is the wood thing hanging from the post on the right. If you can't see it, and I don't blame you, here's a cropped version with a helpful pointer of where the woodpecker is below:
The girls and I bought this suet feeder - which features something called a 'tail prop' at Menards recently and it is hanging there right next to our finch/thistle seed sock. The thistle seed sock is our second or third of the summer and brings in a lot of pretty yellow finches to the yard. But, as the weather is turning cooler, we wanted to try our hand at a suet feeder. I've tried them before - the metal grid-like ones - with no luck. Either the suet melted away or no birds ever came or the squirrels got to it.
And after poking around on the web, I think I figured out it was because we didn't have a 'tail prop' suet feeder. Turns out, woodpeckers - which are attracted to these kind of feeders - use their tail when they're pecking away at things. They kind of lock their two legs and then use their tail as a sort of three-legged stool. Learned that from this post by Bob Heltman on WatchingBackyardBirds.com here.
Even after reading that, and buying the feeder, I was skeptical. But, as I was walking home from work one day late last week, I looked over at the feeder and saw this guy above. I was careful to move slow and creep closer and closer to him without scaring him away. This was the closest I coul get and grab the photo. After he took off, I went and looked at the suet cake. It was being eaten! Huzzah! Good thing I bought a couple of them.
When fall and winter come, I think we'll want to move the feeder to a better location where we can see it from our windows and *fingers crossed*, hopefully, we'll have some company we can watch during the house-bound months.