How to attract woodpeckers to your garden

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There are over 200 species of woodpecker worldwide, and in the British Isles we are lucky enough to have three of them resident with us; green woodpeckers, great spotted woodpeckers and lesser spotted woodpeckers.

Such beautiful birds simply demand admiration, but how do you increase your chances of seeing one of these feathered beauties in your garden? Keep reading for some tips!

Right food, right place

If you’ve been lucky enough to spot a green woodpecker in your garden, you will most likely have seen them hopping along the lawn. This is because their diet mainly consists of ants, however in the winter they rely on mealworms and suet, which can be placed on a ground feeding tray.

Great and lesser spotted woodpeckers are more likely to visit bird tables, and will even hang upside down whilst nibbling on peanuts from a feeder. Because woodpeckers are quite shy, you may get better results by positioning their feeders away from any others you have that are frequented by garden birds, as boisterous songbirds are likely to frighten them away.

Create a natural environment

Think about why the woodpecker has its name. Pecking about in tree trunks to make a home and feed in are what its natural instinct tells it to do, so gardens with trees are most likely to attract woodpeckers, as this offers them a living space as well as a feeding space. If your arboreal options are a little slim, try planting some established trees, so you won’t have to wait long for a feathered resident to move in.

In addition to adding bird food to your garden, dotting dead branches and logs around will also help to draw in these spectacular birds as their natural food supply of wood-boring grubs will soon set up home, albeit temporarily! It’s also a good idea to set up a second bird bath, as woodpeckers will likely be put off visiting a busy one that’s being enjoyed by your usual garden visitors.

Follow these simple steps and before long, you may hear the tell-tale tap-tap-tap of a woodpecker in your garden.

 

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