WoodPecker Suet Cakes
by T.J. Julick
(Covington, Kentucky, United States)
Pictures Taken From Living Room During The Winter Of 2017 To 2018
Most places that have bird feeders have suet cake holders. They are little green cages just big enough to hold one suet cake.
My father and I live in Kentucky and found that we have several families of Red Bellied Woodpeckers, Downy’s, Hairy Woodpeckers, then we see an occasional Piliated Woodpeckers.
My entire life I have only seen one woodpecker as a child and it was a Piliated Woodpecker when I was approximately 12 years old. Then I decided to buy my dad a couple see through plexiglass bird feeders to hang on the outside of the living room window. We first started feeding the birds regular wild bird seed mix and it took three weeks before the first bird landed which was a American Cardinal, so I read some forums and heard that just about all birds cannot resist black oil sunflower seeds, the sunflower seeds us humans eat have too hard of a shell for half of our birds to crack so we went with black oil sunflower seeds and mixed the wild bird seed mix with them and our window feeders became like a drive through window for several types of birds. American Goldfinches, Cardinals, Tufted Titmouses, Cowbirds, Carolina Chickadees, White breasted Nuthatches, House Finches, Red Breasted Nuthatches and then one day came the Downy Woodpeckers.
After about a week of seeing Downys I did some research on how I could attract more Downys or maybe even Piliated Woodpeckers and found out about suet cakes. I bought a suet holder and a suction cup hanger for the window that could hold up to 5 lbs of weight and I bought some C & S Woodpecker Treat Suet Cakes. They consist of rendered beef suet, Roasted Peanuts, Oats, Corn, Almonds, Pecans, and Walnuts..
Keep in mind, we have only seen one Piliated Woodpecker When I was 12, which was the only one I had ever seen until I was 42 years old. These Woodpecker Suet cakes started pulling in several families of Downys, Hairy Woodpeckers and Red Breasted Woodpeckers. We have only been lucky enough to draw in one Piliated Woodpecker on our black oil sunflower seed feeder and see one occasionally pecking on a tree and that’s because we found they’re nest which we watch occasionally with binoculars but the suet cakes, we see Hairys, Downys, and Red Bellies all day long. We see the red bellies the most. Now we are seeing young red bellies frequenting our suet cakes as well. It seems the Red Bellies love this form of suet cake the most and occasionally the females will eat suet first then hop to the sunflower feeder, grab a few seeds then take off.
This is no joke, this is fact, I see a Red Bellied Woodpecker every 10 minutes at least and the funny thing is, they wait in line along our gutters. If one is taking too long Eating, the next one in line will hammer our aluminum gutter and the one on the feeder leaves within seconds to allow the other one to eat. Very rarely to we see them fight and from what I’ve read, they will kill they’re own species and eat other birds but not here at our house because we keep plenty of food out for them. The Downys, Hairys, and Red Bellies eat 1/2 to an entire 11 ounce bar of suit a day.
I hope this helps you attract some Red Bellied Woodpeckers for they are beautiful and graceful birds. My father and I are having the birdwatching time of our life. I’ve only told you about the woodpeckers we drawl in, we just saw a Male Baltimore Oriole for the first time in my 42 years and dads 70 years of our lives, It came about 2 weeks ago eating the suet but it only stayed for a couple days then moved on. We are hoping nothing bad happened to it.
I hope this book I wrote helps you draw in these wonderful marvels of nature.
All the items I mentioned we purchased at our local Walmart but can be found online as well. Etsy is where we bought the plexiglass window feeder.
Thank you and happy bird watching.