Wednesday September 2, 2015
Woodpecker Feeder - SuccessTips
is everything you need to know about setting up and installing
your woodpecker feeder from
We share tips on how to hang your feeder, where to hang your
feeder, how to fill the feeder with suet, and how to maintain
your woodpecker feeder. We also cover a variety of
things you want to know so you will have a successful and
enjoyable woodpecker feeding experience!
Installing Your Feeder
Hanging Methods. Your woodpecker feeder comes
fully assembled and ready to hang. You can use the
supplied hook for use with a pole/hanging arm system, you
can attach string, wire, or cable to the feeder for hanging,
or you can mount the feeder on a pole.
If you hang your feeder from a tree branch, be sure to use a
string, wire, or cable that allows the feeder to hang at
least 5-7 feet from the tree trunk and 4-5 feet down from
The best hanging location is away from other feeders,
suspended on a wire or cable. This removes nearly all
starling "launch points," except for the top of the feeder,
itself. You can add a dome or cone-shaped baffle to the top of
your woodpecker feeder to keep starlings from launching off
the top of the feeder.
Squirrel Baffles. Since there are plenty of
squirrel preventive solutions on the market, we have not
made it part of the feeder itself. However, the best
squirrel baffle method we have seen is a cylindrical
metal tube, mounted on a free-standing pole away from
trees and other objects.
These are available for a 4x4 wooden post as well as for a
smaller diameter metal pole. If you use this type of
baffle, be sure that the pole is 8-10 feet from the nearest
tree branch, pole, or other structure that a squirrel could
launch from. Other baffles include plastic, curved
domes over top of the feeder (good for hanging feeders) and
metal cone baffles that can be attached to a post.
About Starlings. Our feeder design
will keep starlings out of your suet and deters all
but the most persistent, intelligent, and creative
With our woodpecker feeder, there are no
places on the sides of the feeder for them to hang and the food ports are sized and
spaced such that starlings can usually do nothing more than briefly
flutter in front of the feeder and stab at the food.
Since they don't get much food with each effort, after four
or five attempts they move on to easier food options.
Should you encounter a smart starling who is hanging off the
top of the feeder to reach the top-most feeding port, just
don't fill that port and the starling usually leaves for
easier food sources. Also, it is possible that a
starling will be able to hang on to the feeder for a variety
of reasons, even so, the starling typically is not able to
eat all of the suet.
Many of us are constantly looking for a suet feeder that is
"starling proof" - we just want to keep starlings
away from our suet!
is an example of a Squirrel and Starling Proof Feeder. On
the second day after we hung it, sparrows gained enough confidence to
enter the feeder cage. However, shortly thereafter, a starling
landed on the feeder and then reached to make some stabs at the
suet. While it does seem to be "squirrel proof," it is no
more "starling proof" than our
Starling Stopper, Jr. Suet
Feeder, it's less natural looking, and it costs $25-$30 and up.
There's a similar metal design at our local wild bird store are
going for more than $40. It is square in shape and larger in
width, keeping starlings from reaching in from the sides.
However, starlings can reach up from the bottom in that model
and get a bit of suet. While a purist would point out that
feeder is technically not starling proof, it is
"starling proof" enough for most people.
may not be able to make your bird feeder site
totally "starling-proof," but you certainly can make it
We have found that, once you make a
feeder totally "starling proof," you tend to make it too
difficult or intimidating for the wild birds you really want
to attract to get your feeder suet as well. Part of
the challenge is in what we say versus what we mean.
For us at Woodpecker-Feeder.com, "starling proof" is when
the starlings can no longer wipe out our suet and our
woodpeckers and other wild birds can get what they want.
We're fine with letting an occasional starling launch up
from the ground and make a stab or two at the suet - as long
as they can't hang on and wipe us out. If you are fine
with that definiton as well, you have come to the right
place and we have the feeder for you -
Starling Stopper, Jr.!
Alternate Food Sources. One way to keep squirrels and
even starlings less interested in your woodpecker feeder is
to give them an alternate food source. We sprinkle
corn kernels around the base of our feeder system for the
squirrels and they also spend quite a bit of time foraging
in the grass for seeds scattered by birds on the feeders.
You can also put out some inexpensive cake suet which may
fulfill starling's suet needs and make them less inclined to
investigate your woodpecker feeder. We use a variety
of suet delivery methods which keep starlings and other
birds busy and those birds don't really give much thought to
our woodpecker feeders.
In our backyard, we provide three different tube-type peanut feeders which
the starlings really like. Since it is impossible to
totally keep the starlings away from the feeder area, we at
least want them to work for their food and the peanut tube feeders
make them work for everything they get.
Starling Baffles. We have smart starlings and
have actually been training them over
the years as we have
been improving our design. If you happen to have a
very smart quick-learner starling, try a plastic dome over
the feeder. Wild Birds Unlimited sells a nice one made
of heavy grade plastic. (click photo for larger view) It's a little more work for
woodpeckers and other clinging birds, but they do figure out
and grow comfortable with it. Also, the plastic dome
keeps most "weather" off of the feeder and the suet and
feeder stay nice and dry. The feeder retains it's new
"look" much longer when protected from the weather.
"I'm ready to
Hand-crafted woodpecker feeders
Thoroughly researched and tested
Made from reclaimed forest fire wood