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Picidae Family Page

As a courtesy to my website guests who have inquired on information pertaining to the Picidae (Woodpecker) family I have formulated a list of pictures and links for your veiwing and research.

Woodpecker's Picidae Links

Woodpeckers of the Upper Midwest


Robert Havell,after John James Audubon- Pileated Woodpecker, 1831

Close to twenty species of woodpeckers live in North America. Most woodpeckers live all year in the same area and don't migrate. Woodpeckers can be found in a variety of habitats including farmlands, open woodlands, orchards, oak and pine woods, parks and gardens. Woodpeckers are very beneficial to our environment. They eat thousands of wood boring insects and other garden pests. You can usually observe most woodpeckers spiraling around a tree trunk in search of food. Attracting woodpeckers to your own backyard is very enjoyable and these perky birds will reward you by eating insect pests in your garden such as crickets, ants, grasshoppers, flies, spiders, wasps, beetles, and grubs. A single flicker can eat thousands of carpenter ants in one day!

Here's some great tips on how to get these perky birds to visit your backyard: Woodpeckers dine mostly on insects, but will also eat acorns, nuts, fruit, sap, berries and pine seeds. Suet, suet and more suet! Offering suet in your backyard is the best enticement to attract woodpeckers. Smear suet in the bark of a tree, offer suet cakes in wire cages or other specially designed suet feeders. If you like to cook, we have a couple of great suet recipes to make yourself. We also have ready to use suet cakes available in a variety of peanut, seed, berry and raisin flavors for home delivery. Woodpeckers will come to your backyard feeder if you have plenty of perching space and offer their favorite food: black oil sunflower seed. Select a platform feeder or seed feeder with lots of perching space. Some woodpeckers will be attracted to cracked corn or grapes, raisins and apples on a platform feeder. Create or preserve a snag in your backyard. A snag can be an old dead tree or tree stump. Snags are extremely important for providing food, nest sites and homes for woodpeckers. Many woodpeckers prefer dead or rotting trees for excavating their nest holes. Mount woodpecker houses around your yard. See our nesting box dimensions chart for specifications on some familiar woodpeckers and their preferences. Plant an oak tree. Woodpeckers love acorns! Plant a pine tree. Woodpeckers will love the shelter they provide as well as eat the pine seeds and sap. Lots of woodpeckers relish the sugar water found in hummingbird feeders. If they are feeding at your hummingbird feeder, enjoy! If you want to offer this treat, make sure your choice of hummingbird feeder has large ports to accommodate their beaks. Plant a berry or fruit producing bush or tree such as dogwood, serviceberry, tupelo, mountain ash, strawberry, cherry, grapes, bayberry, holly, blueberries, apples, mulberry, brambles, and elderberries.


This recipe attracts warblers, chickadees, and woodpeckers.

1 pound lard

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

2 cups quick cooking oats

2 cups cornmeal

1 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup raisins

Melt lard and peanut butter together over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour into molds or containers suitable for your suet feeder. Be sure not to exceed 1 to 1 1/2 inches in thickness. Allow to cool completely. You can wrap the suet cakes in wax paper and store in the freezer until ready to use.

High Protein Suet Mix for Insect Eating Birds

4 1/2 cups ground beef suet

3/4 cup finely ground bread or cracker crumbs

1/2 cup hulled, raw sunflower seed

1/4 cup white proso millet

1/4 cup dried and chopped berries, raisins or currants

Melt suet over medium heat. Mix together remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Allow suet to cool until lightly thickened. Pour into bowl with other ingredients and mix well. Pour or pack into molds or suet feeders. Can also be smeared on the trunk of a tree or packed in pine cones and hung.



This Suet Log Feeder is very easy to construct. You will need a log, a screw on hook and perches. Even if you don't follow these instructions, the birds will still use whatever type of log feeder you construct.

1.Cut a log that is approximately 9 1/2-10" in circumference with a length of 16". The log shown in the picture on the right is of white-barked birch (Betula). The log does not have to be straight. This log is slightly bent.

2.Drill a hole that is 1 1/4" round all the way through to the other end. Start at the top of the log.

3.Drill another hole, again 1 1/4" round all the way through, but this time turn the log so that it does not line up with the first hole that was drilled. See Picture.

4.Drill the next hole, below the second hole.

5.Drill the last hole, but align it with the first hole that was drilled.

6.Drill 8 holes, 1 1/2" in depth (not all the way through). The perch holes should be 1/4" below the 1 1/4" round holes that hold the suet. Perches should be at least 3" in length. Insert the perches and tighten.

7.Screw the hook at the top for hanging.

8.Fill the 1 1/4" holes with Suet. That's it!

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Bruce J. Meurer.
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