How To Tell If Your Suet Feeder Needs Refilling

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 3:10 pm

ur backyard suet feeder is a popular day spot for a number of local birds. It’s specially designed to resist the depredations of starlings, crows and other birds who, though beautiful creatures and deserving of sustenance in their own right, would eat us out of house and home in no time if allowed to impose upon our largesse unchecked. The feeder only dispenses suet from its underside, which means that birds that are unable to feed while hanging upside-down are excluded. (We do get the occasional adventuresome crow or starling who will attempt to hover underneath the basket, flapping wildly and pecking feverishly at the bounty contained therein. I hardly feel it seemly to begrudge them what little they are able to glean from their efforts, hard-won as they are.) The suet feeder is thereby left largely to the delectation of chickadees, wrens, bushtits and flickers.

The only problem with this suet feeder is that, given its orientation, I am unable to tell from any distance whether it actually contains suet. I’m usually pretty good about wandering up and checking it at frequent if irregular intervals, but sometimes other distractions get in the way and I may forget to do so for a week or more at a time.

Fortunately, the flickers—possibly because they are the single largest consumer pound-for-pound of suet among our various outdoor dinner guests—have at times taken it upon themselves to let me know when I have dropped the ball:

For those who may not have this particular variety of bird in their area, let me just fill you in: when your flickers have resorted to eating sunflower seeds out of your seed feeder, it most definitely means that you have run out of suet. 😀

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