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Avian learning curve
  • Subject: Avian learning curve
  • From: Aplfgcnys@aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2013 16:14:11 -0500 (EST)

Last summer we got an upside-down suet feeder for our woodpeckers.
Until that time we just hung suet in a wire mesh cage, and all the birds
loved it - they were going through a suet cake every two days which 
was getting pretty pricey.  Of course we also feed sunflower hulls, so
there was something for everyone.  
Well, it was most interesting to watch the birds adapt.  At first only
the female downy woodpeckers came to the new feeder.  The males
would sit on the top of it and watch.  Then after a few days the male
birds alaso got the hang of it.  The larger woodies were slower - the
red-bellies and the hairies - but they too finally learned how to use the
feeder.  They always liked to eat hanging upside down, but just had to
be shown, I guess.  
For  quite a while no other birds used the feeder. Then a pesky squirrel
made a pass at it.  He managed to gnaw his way into one end and pull
the grid open enough to get at the suet, but I guess he decided it was
too much work, for he hasn't continued.  
Perhaps the extreme cold has made the birds need the suet more, or
perhaps they just finally caught on by watching the woodies, but this
week we have seen nuthatches, chickadees and Carolina wrens hanging 
upside down to eat from the suet feeder.  Interesting.

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