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How do you keep woodpeckers away from a humming bird feeder? Two days ago this little black and white woodpecker showed up and he is able to get his beak in the holes and makes a big mess with the syrup and chases away the birds. Any ideas?
Hardiness Zone: 5b
By Jill from nw PA
I too have this same problem. I have put two humming bird feeders up which helps a bit. If you buy the very small hb feeders with no rail for them to perch on only the hummers will be able to use it. I make my own humming bird solution with 1 part sugar, and 4 parts water, i.e. 1 Cup sugar to 4 cups water. I stir well then nuke this till dissolved. I make large batches and store it in the fridge. You need no food coloring. Use no honey either, just regular sugar. Anything other than real white sugar and water will harm the birds. I also make my solution a little sweeter, like 1/2 cup of water less than the 4 cups. The Audubon society has approved this recipe. Other wise i would go broke buying the pre made mixes. One problem is now the squirrels have eaten the plastic top in one feeder so i had to toss it out. I have them hung between two poles and the squirrels can't navigate the wire because of the length. Also it's too high for them to jump up. Good luck. Ps in time the hummers may feed at the same time as the woodpeckers. I have a couple of feisty ones who do this. Another thing leave the feeders up late in the season to feed the little ones coming down from the north. When my regulars leave late sept. There are always a few from other areas who need the feeder. This will not encourage them to stay either.
I have had luck keeping territorially aggressive robins from chasing my orioles away from their jelly feeders by shooting AT them with my garden hose. This had stopped the robins from claiming "their" jelly stations. I am sure a squirt gun filled with water would be quite effective. Another option is to put out a hummer feeder for the woodpecker close to their food sources.
Be grateful you have a variety of birds, hummers, woodpeckers, orioles, robins & more! Read about the birds & and animals that visit you. The variety tells you that your place is environmetally friendly (a good thing). Put up another hummer feeder or 2, the hummers will find them & enough food to go around. Woodpeckers, hummers & others also eat lots of insects for protein which is good for humans & plants.