The trouble with Hairy(s)

One of the great treats we get to see at our bird feeders (or suet feeders when we put them out) is the less common Hairy Woodpecker. Much larger than the Downy Woodpecker, they’re quite a sight to see when they visit our feeders.

Lately, in spite of his size, and we can tell it’s a he by his brilliant red patch on the back of his head, this particular Hairy woodpecker has been feeding out of our tube feeder, even though there is a much easier way to eat via our platform feeder not 10 feet away.

What makes this a bit annoying is that we use a blend in our tube feeder, much of which a woodpecker wouldn’t find appealing. So he takes to using his bill to throw everything he doesn’t like on to the ground. The mourning doves and various types of sparrows seem to LOVE this, as do our resident chipmunks.

It can be entertaining to watch, it’s just that more trips are needed to fill the feeder. We’ll have to see if he keeps this up, or maybe use a more specialized feeder and fill it with more attractive woodpecker food to redirect his energy.

In any event, he’s great to have around - even if he is a bit messy.

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