Wild Birds Unlimited – Omaha, NE

December 29, 2014

Watching Woodpeckers

Filed under: Birds,woodpecker — wbuomaha @ 1:27 pm
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Holscher_Suet feeder with red-bellied KQ7S7935_4c (CMYK, 300 DPI, 800x1200)From the tree to the suet feeder, back to the tree, on to the hopper feeder and then back to the tree. What in the world is that woodpecker doing? Most likely, it’s looking for dinner. Woodpeckers spend most of their waking hours looking for food. Sure, they like suet and seed feeders. But in the winter, some woodpeckers, such as the Red-bellied, also eat seeds and insects that they stashed away earlier in the year. Unfortunately, much of this food is eaten by other birds and critters that find it.

DownyWPonPnutWreathJRC_4c (2)In contrast, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers rarely store any winter food, relying instead on the ever diminishing supply of insects and bugs. That’s why providing your woodpeckers and other backyard visitors with fresh birdseed, suet and other snacks is important to helping them survive the harshest of winter conditions.

BNP_Tail prop KQ7S7317_4cIn cold weather, all birds need more food so they can generate more energy to stay warm. And don’t forget water. It’s important for birds to drink to remain hydrated, but they need to be able to bathe, too. Clean feathers are more efficient at trapping air to provide insulation from the cold. Flight is more aerodynamic when feathers are clean, requiring less energy. So keep fresh food and open water for your backyard birds. They will reward you with color on even the dreariest of winter days.

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