The Misters and the Missuses

It was a glorious sunny 70+ degree day – perfect for Sunday Brunch at the Bird Feeder Buffet. this weeks special – suet served up to shy woodpeckers.

Woodpeckers are cautious and flighty. But, like most of my guests at the buffet, their appetite urges them onward in spite of their concerns. Interestingly, it seems that the females of the species are the trail blazers in this regard. If you want to know more about these feeders check out my post on feeding woodpeckers here.

The red-bellied woodpecker is a pretty good size bird, a little less than twice the size of a cardinal. It has the saddest call, but the sweetest expression. As new ones stop by the buffet, they always send a scout in first…

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She decides that I’m no threat and digs in.

These feeders are perfect for woodpeckers. Very few birds have the ability to scale tree trunks, so with the exception of the nuthatches they have these feeders all to themselves.

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She’s followed a few minutes later by her mister. He’s been here before, but is skittish and shy, so shy that he tries to sneak around the log instead of just scaling it like his mate. A lot more work for him, but it allows him a better field of vision.

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On the other end of the buffer the downies are feeding. This female is a regular visitor and has almost no fear of me. I shot this from a rocker 6 feet from her.

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Her mate was spotted at the buffet for the very first time yesterday at Sunday Brunch.

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He very carefully checked things out…

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And decided to go for the suet feeder instead.

We do our best to make our guests comfortable at the buffet, but sometimes a fella has to be prepared to eat and run.

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31 thoughts on “The Misters and the Missuses

  1. We have tons of woodpeckers here in central VA. The pileateds are my favorite, but they are way too shy to come to the feeders. Downies are the funniest because, to me, they remind me of Charlie Chaplin, the way they kind of shuffle stiffly from side to side and peek around corners.

    • The male downey in this post is the first I’ve seen. I have a couple of females who are completely unconcerned with me and they really like that log feeder. I have a neighbor who has attracted a pileated to a log feeder, but it wasn’t as close to the house as mine are. I love those, gorgeous birds. I have shot a couple in my walnut tree.

      Charlie Chaplin is a great description for the downs:)

  2. Thanks for sharing the pictures of the visitor to your suet feeder. I am a long time backyard birder myself and I never grow tired of seeing birds that we don’t get here in New Mexico. TY

  3. 70 degrees??? Shut the front door! We had minus 17c this morning minus 23 with the windchill that’s like minus 14f! I’m moving in with you! hahaha! Lovely photos as always – beautiful birds. :)

    • Me too! Have I asked before what kind you have? I dream of the day when the pileated ones come to the feeder – so beautiful. The probably do already when I’m not around – they go at the tree outside my window in the mornings. It cracks me up that they want to get at that steel siding:)

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