Woodpeckers are shy. This is a red-bellied woodpecker who hangs out in my yard. My suet feeders were up for over 3 months before he dared get close. Here he sits on top of my pergola, deciding whether or not to go for the feeder
He stayed up there for about 30 minutes checking to see if it was safe. He did this several times before he decided it was safe to try out the suet.
Eventually his appetite overcame his fear and he made the leap. It was clear right away that he was too much bird for a feeder like this.
I’ve built him a feeder out of an old dead cedar tree – I have seen him using it, but haven’t managed to catch him with my camera – yet. I drilled 1 1/4″ holes into the log and filled the holes with suet. The little guy loves it, its like his own personal suet tree.
By far his favorite place is my black walnut tree just off my patio. He paces along the limbs, scouting the feeders and tapping on the old tree.
He has a distinctive call, it’s really more of a cry. It sounds mournful, sad – in contrast to his chipper face.
I can hear him in the woods near the house. He flies in long sweeping arcs from tree to tree.
I hear his tap and I know he’s back.