Monday, January 16, 2012

RJ & Emily

Earlier this week, I noticed a male downy woodpecker at the suet feeder my sister got me for Christmas.  So today, when I saw him outside, I decided to get a picture.

He hasn't been as skittish as a bunch of the other birds are - I can easily walk out from my garage and he'll watch to make sure I'm not coming toward him, but he doesn't immediately fly away like most of the other birds.

I've named him RJ (as in Robert Jr.  Because he's a Downy...yes, I'm a dork, why do you ask?)
Picture taken from the front corner of the house (it's about as close as I can get while outside)
My neighbor asked me today how it was that I managed to not have the squirrels eat all the suet cake (she had briefly put out a suet feeder, but took it down because of the squirrels it attracted - which drove her dogs nuts).  I told her I had used a hot pepper cake which has capsaicin which affects mammals, but not birds (or perhaps it's safer to say that it doesn't affect them in the same way) - which is probably the reason birds like chile pequin plants.

Just a day after taking the photo of RJ, I noticed the female downy on the feeder (I've decided to name her Emily...I don't know why - it just came to me...much like naming my pets).


But I have been having a problem with European Starlings being all gung ho over the suet.  Like "15 birds at a time" gung ho.  Yeah...I'll have to figure out what to do about that....any suggestions?

5 comments:

Rambling Wren said...

Great photos. I've seen a couple of downy woodpeckers at my house, but I mostly see the golden breasted. Maybe it is time to put out more suet. This time with capsaicin in it!!

The Starlings are the bullies of the bird world. They seem to love suet. Not sure how you could keep them away.

PS I name the birds around our yard too:)

Morgan said...

Sop cool! We have Downey Woodpeckers living around my house too. This summer a sparrow made a nest in one of the woodpecker's old holes. I should try putting out some capsaicin laced suet.

Ally said...

Excellent tip on the hot pepper suet cake. Do you make those yourself or buy them locally?

katina said...

@Ally - I got it as a christmas gift from my sister - she had bought it at Wild Birds Unlimited. I know Petsmart also sells a hot pepper laced suet cakes.

sandy lawrence said...

I found hot pepper suet at Home Depot for $1.59 per cake as opposed to Wild Birds @ over double that price. I nor the birds can tell the difference. I do like WB seed mixes, however.