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.


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