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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Woodpeckers are attracted by a challenge

If you've put up house for any of our local Woodpeckers, remember that they want a bit of a challenge so they can achieve a sense of accomplishment. It's part of their mating ritual.

Try adding a mild barrier to the entrance hole, such as putting a piece of cardboard, or thin piece of wood, with a 1" hole in it, over the real hole (which should be about 2" depending on species), so they can enlarge it themselves to the proper size.

Just make sure the real hole is somewhat obvious or the Woodpecker may ignore the birdhouse entirely.The smaller "dummy" hole also keeps Starlings from taking over.

Here in north Texas the most common Woodpecker species are the Downy, Hairy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers (shown here). Other species sometimes live here, but are not as common, or are only here in the winter.
Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

There's hardly any activity at seed feeders about now. That's totally normal.

This is breeding season. Birds of almost all species are primarily concerned with feeding their young right now; and the developing birds eat only insects (with just a few exceptions) until they "fledge" from the nest. Seeds are indigestible to their undeveloped digestive systems.

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