When I first spotted this woodpecker I thought it was a Male Northern Flicker. With our camera I captured this image of the pretty woodpecker next to the suet feeder.
Turns out this is a female Red-bellied Woodpecker. The female is distinguished from the male in the red nape vs. the male with a red cap. This bird can stick its sticky saliva covered barbed tongue a full 2 inches past the tip of the beak, letting it successfully catch food deep in crevices.
Always looking for a new thing, we decided to try our hand at making our own suet. An internet search produced several different recipes. A quick trip to the store and we had what we needed to get started.
- crunchy peanut butter
- corn meal
- quick cook oats
- white flour
- bit of sugar
The simple ingredients were fairly easy to mix in the pan over medium heat. Once everything was mixed we pressed it into the aluminum pan, roughly an inch thick. After setting in the freezer for about we cut the the appropriate size cakes for the cages.
Couple of starlings going bonkers over the new suet
The results? The birds went nuts over the home made suet when we put it out. Sher and I had a ball watching all different species enjoying the new suet. It seems like the starlings especially had gotten a sugar high. They acted like like a bunch of kids who got into the candy a half hour before bedtime.
Sher enjoying good times with one of our granddaughters
Roadtirement wishes all mothers a most happy day. You are loved and appreciated! Do everything you can to make this day special for your Mom.
The only North American woodpecker that stores and then hides the stored food.
The Red-headed Woodpecker is one of the most striking birds you’ll find in the forest, or, in our case, the backyard. Today Sher spotted a beautiful male on the tube feeder. He was hanging on the bottom of the feeder poking into the openings. This magnificent bird blessed us with his presence for a few minutes. We hope he’ll feel comfortable enough to return soon.
Squirrels often appear in our backyard. Sometimes one, other times up to 8 together.
Woody, our male Pileated Woodpecker showed up and immediately went to the suet cage. The starlings who had been swarming the suet cage scattered as soon as Woody landed and began to feed. Shortly after one starling flew back to the cage, but wisely landed away from the suet and the woodpecker’s beak.
If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that Sher and I like to sit outside in our backyard and take in the sights and sounds of our little slice of nature. Recent additions to our bird feeding equipment have increased the number of feathered visitors.
Lucked out and got a photo of the geese just after they passed our yard
We get to share the company of couple of Canadian Geese each day. And we do mean a couple. This pair flies over our house barely clearing the trees. What is fun is how loud they are. They are always having a very loud and animated conversation, both of them honking and squawking during their whole flight. They follow the same route each day, coming from about 6 or so blocks away, and ending after they pass our house and land on the river that is about 100 yards from our yard. They never land in our yard, be we consider them part of our feathered family!
Sher has found a new pastime referred to as Diamond Art. It uses hundreds of different colored “diamonds” that you carefully place on a preprinted picture. It’s kind of like paint by number, though it is diamond by number.
It’ll be a fun project, and I just might have to get one of my own. This won’t take as much space as a jig-saw puzzle, and will be easier to put up when not working on it.
Sher spotted some small but pretty bird baths in a local store’s ad flyer. We decided that they would be a nice addition to our backyard. We thought that we’d use one of the glass receptacles as a true water filled bird bath. The second, however, for now we put bird feed in the second one as a shelf feeder.
Glass bowl bird bath
2nd bird bath as a shelf feeder
We have been thrilled with the number of different species of birds that have been gracious enough to visit our backyard.
A brash Blue Jay
Chipping Sparrow in the new feeder
Two Starlings enjoying the suet
We have so enjoyed sitting in our backyard watching the birds coming and going from the bird feeders, now scattered across our backyard. We will keep the bird and critter photos coming as we capture them.
Hanging on an empty corn cob on a large nail is our new backyard suet cage. Soon after the debut of this wildlife feeding device a resident squirrel showed up. He really wasn’t thrilled with this “not corn” thing.
He finally moved on, leaving the suet to the birds.