Where to Hang A Suet Feeder Part 2

Male Downy Woodpecker Eating Suet
Male Downy Woodpecker Eating Suet

My approach to offering suet to birds in my yard has evolved over the past several years. Through a lot of trial and error with feeder type and placement, I’ve learned a lot along the way. My current suet set-up has been working wonderfully for season after season and now I don’t have to stress over it at all. It just works.

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Attracting Northern Cardinals

Male Northern Cardinal in the Snow
Male Northern Cardinal in the Snow

It’s hard not to like Northern Cardinals. One of our most popular feeder birds, the male’s beautiful red color pops in the yard, especially in the dull grey winter months of the year and the female’s more subtle orange and red tones are lovely as well. They come to our feeders fairly readily and are polite guests. They might bicker with each other a little bit, especially in the spring when territory becomes an issue, but they don’t give other species a hard time. If you live within their range, attracting them to feeders usually isn’t hard to do.

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European Starlings: Messy Eaters!

European Starling
European Starling

Most of the year, European Starlings don’t spend a lot of time in our yard, but when it gets cold and snowy, the big mixed flocks are more likely to descend on the feeders: European Starlings, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Brown-Headed Cowbirds and Common Grackles arrive in large groups that displace our regular birds. I’m okay with a few random Red-Winged Blackbirds and even the occasional Common Grackle, but European Starlings do not fill me with joy. Even a few of them can be a disruptive addition to the yard. They hog the feeders, blocking other birds from the food, eat more than their share, and make a mess!

This week, with both snow and cold in the area, the starlings have unfortunately arrived. I deter the big flocks just by walking outside and standing there for a couple minutes, but there are a handful of tenacious starlings that have been hanging around lately and I swear, they are the messiest eaters out there! Their sloppy eating habits are wasting a lot of seed and keeping other birds from the feeders, so something needs to be done.

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