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Good Morning... I am excited to report that I saw my first Pileated Woodpecker in my neighborhood a couple of days about 3 blocks from my house.  I was coming home from running errands and he/she swooped over my car and landed in one of my neighbors trees.  I am curious if anyone has an opinion as to the best way to attract one of these beautiful birds into your yard to feed?  I've seen post on here before from people that have them feed from the feeders and I will review their post but wanted to open it up again just in case someone has a secret.  I think I remember someone indicating that a feeder with a "tail prop"? is very important so the bird can support its weight when feeding.  None of my feeders have this feature so maybe that is a start.  Thanks for any information.  This woodpecker has to be one of the prettiest wild birds in the woods. 

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Aren't they beautiful?  As soon as I can take a decent photo of one, I'm setting it as my avatar.

They'll come to suet.  If squirrels or raccoons aren't a problem, you can nail a standard suet feeder to a tree trunk.  That will provide a natural tail prop.

Similarly, you can make a suet feeder with a tail prop by nailing a standard feeder to a 1" x 6" board, about 18" long.  Nail the feeder near the top so about a foot or so of the board sticks out at the bottom.  You may have to mount it on a pole so it doesn't swing when the bird lands.

You may not get Pileateds, but there are plenty of other birds that will come to suet.  Bluebirds, wrens, other woodpeckers, mockingbirds, etc.

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Thanks for the tip... I have a lot of suet out so I get bluebirds, phoebes, mockingbirds, warblers, etc. and smaller woodpeckers.   The idea of nailing a suet cage to one of my big oak trees is a good idea.  I'll try it... I hope this is the year that I get a decent camera so I can include more photos.  I've been putting it off for 5 years!  Maybe 2018 is the year!  Thanks again! 

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If you nail the suet cage to a tree, I would suggest using Hot Pepper suet in it.  That will eliminate any problems from squirrels, and my Pileateds love it.  We are lucky enough to have a regular pair that also bring their babies in each year after they fledge.

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https://www.walmart.com/ip/C-S-Suet-Hot-Pepper-Delight/22889937 although I'm sure there are other brands and places.  Many C&S suets are available in an 8-pack, usually at discount of 10 to 20 cents per cake.

Edited: or this:

https://www.myhardwaresupply.com/store/p/34628-Suet-Hot-Pepper-Box/12.html?feed=Froogle&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5Jv8javs2AIVTrnACh0NNQapEAQYAyABEgIYh_D_BwE

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I agree with Charlie, the C&S at Walmart is the best.  ALL of my birds love it over every other brand.  They still prefer my homemade, but I don't put that on the tree where squirrels can get to it.

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Thanks... I will try to attract a Pileated and let you know if he finds the suet.  At least I know that it comes into our neighborhood. 

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On 1/23/2018 at 12:30 PM, Tclarkwood said:

Thanks... I will try to attract a Pileated and let you know if he finds the suet.  At least I know that it comes into our neighborhood. 

I'm catching up on older threads, and saw your post. I have 2 male and 2 female pileated woodpeckers that visit my feeders frequently throughout the day. I have 3 different feeders that they choose from. One is what I call a basket feeder that holds a large block of nuts. The second is a suet-filled paddle feeder like I think you're talking about in your earlier posts. The third is one we made from a tree branch about 3" in diameter with holes about 1-1/2" in diameter carved out, and we fill those with "bark butter" which seems to be kind of a soft peanut butter suet. I would say the bark butter and the paddle feeder are their favorites. One of my neighbors was so excited about hearing of the pileateds coming so frequently, that she bought a paddle feeder for her yard, and now she gets them as visitors, too! I think it helps that they have the variety of feeders to choose from, and since they are here a dozen times a day, I guess they have grown used to having the food available. I don't take photos of them on the feeders anymore, since they are regular visitors, but I do of infrequent guests. Here's a photo I took last summer of a Red-headed Woodpecker that was on the bark butter feeder that we made. It's just to give you an idea, if you have any desire to make one like it. Good luck with your mission! We love having them visit so often!

http://2ev7t49.jpg

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23 hours ago, FamiliarFace said:

I'm catching up on older threads, and saw your post. I have 2 male and 2 female pileated woodpeckers that visit my feeders frequently throughout the day. I have 3 different feeders that they choose from. One is what I call a basket feeder that holds a large block of nuts. The second is a suet-filled paddle feeder like I think you're talking about in your earlier posts. The third is one we made from a tree branch about 3" in diameter with holes about 1-1/2" in diameter carved out, and we fill those with "bark butter" which seems to be kind of a soft peanut butter suet. I would say the bark butter and the paddle feeder are their favorites. One of my neighbors was so excited about hearing of the pileateds coming so frequently, that she bought a paddle feeder for her yard, and now she gets them as visitors, too! I think it helps that they have the variety of feeders to choose from, and since they are here a dozen times a day, I guess they have grown used to having the food available. I don't take photos of them on the feeders anymore, since they are regular visitors, but I do of infrequent guests. Here's a photo I took last summer of a Red-headed Woodpecker that was on the bark butter feeder that we made. It's just to give you an idea, if you have any desire to make one like it. Good luck with your mission! We love having them visit so often!

http://2ev7t49.jpg

 

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Thanks! I've named him Rudy, since I don't know if he's a male or a female. The cool thing for us last summer was to discover that when Rudy returned after a monthlong hiatus, he/she brought 3 babies with him/her! It was amazing to watch the parent feed the babies, and then weeks later, the juveniles visited the feeders on their own while the parent observed from far away!

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Here are one of the males and one of the females eating at the same time, from last Friday.

http://e5fe4k.jpg

Soon after eating, they flew into neighboring trees and were about the same height in the trees, instead of far apart.

http://1z6vy9t.jpg

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7 minutes ago, Tclarkwood said:

Does the male just have more red on his head than the female as in the case of the downy woodpecker? 

The males have red on the forehead and crown while the females only have red crowns.  And the males have red mustaches while the females have black mustaches.

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I live in an area in MN where we have a high concentration of these gorgeous birds! I personally have several types of feeders and have learned by observing them they actually prefer to stand on top of my deck railing and peck at a large suet feeder mounted on the railing. Every morning throughout the winter I warm up all natural peanut butter in microwave and stir in oil sunflower seeds until they are completely coated. I put the mixture on top of the commercial suet and close the feeder. Soon they show up and enjoy such a treat. Washing their beak is by wiping against the wire feeder. They come twice a day. I currently have 2 juveniles and a very large adult. I have feeders hanging from tree branches for the red bellied woodpeckers and downy's and they too seem to like to stand on the railing! I plan to use platform style feeders made for these birds to mount on the trees. Always try to use feeders with the larger openings (squares). 

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