Jun 5 2007
09:38 am

Couldn't wait until Friday to share this one...

A red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus).

Mello's picture


LUCKY you! A red headed is still missing on my front porch list.

This past week we had the whole pileated family of three fly out of the woods together and the red bellies come to the feeder as a family group of four. AND I saw a honey bee!

How do you keep the squirrels out of that feeder? My mesh feeder now has a squirrel guard, several flowers pots and a lot of bungee cord as an obstacle course- if the little *#@*!# want the seed that badly I insist they do tricks to get it. The squirrels do not bother the suet feeder and that is most often visited by our woodpecker assortment.

R. Neal's picture

WOW! indeed.

WOW! indeed.

WhitesCreek's picture

I've never seen one in my

I've never seen one in my gorge. I'm jealous.

Andy Axel's picture

This was in Kentucky on the

This was in Kentucky on the fringes of Lake Barkley. There are plenty of dead snags for these critters to inhabit. My host says that this bird drops by maybe once a day, grabs a snack, and doesn't come back. I was fortunate enough to have my D200 with me when it showed.

Now that I've seen one of these, I no longer wonder why the red-bellied woodpecker lost out on the "red-headed" handle.

Now, if I can manage to cop a shot of a red-cockaded...


I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

gttim's picture



Factchecker's picture

Nice shot!

How do you keep the squirrels out of that feeder? My mesh feeder now has a squirrel guard, ...

Our squirrels are worse this year than they've ever been. And much more brave. Don't know why other than the nonexistent winter.

Andy Axel's picture

How do you keep the

How do you keep the squirrels out of that feeder? My mesh feeder now has a squirrel guard

Put a length of 5" PVC pipe around the post. Squirrels can't get purchase on it.


I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

R. Neal's picture

Freeze killed their emerging

Freeze killed their emerging food supply of nuts and stuff, I think.

The park we walk in is covered with them, raiding trash cans, eating clover or who knows what on the ground. They are quite desperate. They don't even run when they see our dog. She could have probably caught a couple if we'd let her after them. We're seeing lots more of them squashed on the road, too.

Eleanor A's picture

Hmmm. Yep, I'm seeing more

Hmmm. Yep, I'm seeing more of them this year as well. Wonder if they're just hanging out on the ground more, scavenging.

Lovely shot, Axel. You gonna post any more pileated photos any time soon? I'm a sucker for a woodpecker.

Mello's picture

Five inch PVC?

I dug out a four foot long section of 3 inch of pvc pipe but then I could not put it over the bungee cord all by my lonesome and as always forgot to add it to the old man's honey-do list.

It is not that I mind feeding the squirrels but they don't eat the corn we did try to give them and they really love this trail mix I put in the feeders.

Two nights ago we watched as a young racoon climbed the tree, went out on the branch and unhooked the bungee so the other racoon waiting below could run off with the feeder, guard and flower pot set up. A good bit of shouting saved the feeder.

Is it worth the money to set a pole in the ground and put metal around the base to keep the critters out- similar to what folks do for nesting boxes?

I appreciate the help!

Eleanor A's picture

Should be. It's possible to

Should be. It's possible to buy a raccoon baffle at Wild Birds Unlimited...

Or you can buy one here:


You're nuts to pay $50 though. I think ours was around $18 at Wild Birds.

Sibyl's picture

On Sunday morning, I saw a

On Sunday morning, I saw a squirrel carrying off a hatchling with two very angry mockingbirds in hot pursuit.
I've also been seeing a fox almost every morning that I'm out walking before dawn. I'm sure the fox is making a nice living off the exploding rabbit population these days.

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