"I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven."
Emily Dickinson

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Woodpeckers occasionally visit hummingbird feeders

My cousin Beverly Frank captured this photo of a woodpecker that visits the hummingbird feeder in her yard in Eureka, Illinois. 
It's difficult to determine from this photo, but it looks to be a downy woodpecker. Hairy woodpeckers are larger and have much longer bills. Woodpeckers are equipped with long tongues, which they use to forage for insects. But their tongues also allow them to drink nectar from hummingbird feeders.  Certain types of hummingbird feeders are easier for woodpeckers to use than others.

From Cornell Lab of Ornithology: 
Downy Woodpeckers eat mainly insects, including beetle larvae that live inside wood or tree bark as well as ants and caterpillars. They eat pest insects including corn earworm, tent caterpillars, bark beetles, and apple borers. About a quarter of their diet consists of plant material, particularly berries, acorns, and grains. Downy woodpeckers are common feeder birds, eating suet and black oil sunflower seeds and occasionally drinking from hummingbird feeders.

Happy Birding!

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