Shy Giants-would love pointers to calm them to my presence

by Judith Foline

We live on top of the MN river valley in a rural area. We seem to have had a pair for the last several years, but never seem to get them both to come to the feeder at the same time. When one does come, it is very cautious unlike the red breasted woodpecker. I try to get pictures, but they fly if I move in the house.

They seem most pleased with a song bird blend of seeds along with the suet. They are silly as they keep pecking on my metal garage roof. They sound like a power ratchet-don't really think they're finding any bugs! I hope to one day see them both together & maybe see babies one day!

Hopefully Judith, you get to see their courtship. These spectacular birds put on a fantastic display of spread-eagling, crest-raising, dancing and bowing by both male and female. This romance is interspersed with short circling flights as it to display their flashing white markings to their greatest advantage. They usually nest in a dead tree trunk, with three to six eggs, which are surprisingly small for such a big bird. Both parent birds become very shy during nest building and rearing season.
Good luck!

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