flicker at the feeder

by Tammy B.
(North Oshawa, ON)

As we have done all winter long, bird seed was spread out on the snow in our backyard, which backs onto a wooded ravine.

My husband and I were enjoying a hot cup of tea on a cold Sunday morning and amongst the juncos and doves we noticed a bird we have not seen previously. After a bit of research, we discovered it was a Northern Flicker enjoying the seed on the ground.

Our property is mainly sandy soil, which is native to many ants and we hope that the Flicker makes our back yard his new home.

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Mar 09, 2013
by: GaryE

Flickers are really neat birds. We get a lot of them in my backyard (pecking away on dead/dying trees and branches) and feeders but mainly in the warmer months (I am in the suburbs of DC).

They are a tree clinging/woodpecker type of bird.

If you want to attract them (tree clingers) you need a suet feeder (or two or three or whatever LOL). I have two suet feeders and they like both. In one large cage type suet feeder I keep a very dense seed cake (advertised as a woodpecker seed cake if I recall correctly) that is bound together with gelatin that all kinds of birds just love but it is a favorite of tree clingers of all types! Just two or three days ago I had a piliated woodpecker at mine (Yeah!!!!! very rarely seen at my feeders) and downy woodpeckers and red bellied woodpeckers are very common visitors as well as the odd hairy woodpecker and flicker and sometimes a nuthatch as well (but they seem to prefer loose seed for some reason). In the other small type (with a large extension on the bottom specifically designed for piliated woodpeckers) suet feeder I keep a soft suet branded as woodpecker suet that the tree clingers just love as well. In the smaller seeder I sometimes alternate between the woodpecker suet and a peanut suet (the tree clingers do not seem to have a preference that I have noticed).

Suet is generally pretty cheap and depending upon how popular your backyard is a small block can easily lasts a week or two (I usually go through 3 blocks every two weeks). The large dense seed cakes are much more expensive but they last a really really long time. It is not uncommon for one to last two + months for me (depending upon time of year and how often I fill the seed feeders etc etc etc) but even when the loose seed feeders are empty in the middle of the spring/summer they still last over 3 weeks. The feeders themselves are pretty cheap too and last a long time. The only problem with feeding seed-cakes and suet is squirrels love them even more than the birds so they need to be on a pole of some kind with a squirrel baffler to keep the squirrels out (if squirrels are a problem where you live) otherwise the suet and seed cakes might only last two days or so LOL.

Well good luck in attracting more flickers and tree clingers . . . they are by a pretty wide margin my favorite kind of birds.

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