How to Make a Pileated Woodpecker Feeder

The pileated woodpecker is a birder's jewel.
The pileated woodpecker is a birder's jewel. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

The pileated woodpecker, or Dryocopus pileatus, measures over 15 inches and is a striking sight. It is the largest woodpecker in North America. The bird's giant red crest and sleek body make it quite the backyard find. Once very rare due to habitat destruction, the species is making a comeback. While still a rare find at a bird feeder, these woodpeckers mate for life and are sometimes spotted at feeders together.

Things You'll Need

  • Two pieces of 1/2-inch wire mesh, 7 to 9 inches long
  • Metal cutting shears
  • Pliers
  • Suet
  • String or wire

Cut off the finished ends of three sides of each piece of mesh with the metal cutting shears. This leaves a series of loose wire ends.

Using pliers, twist the loose wire ends on the right side of one piece of mesh to the loose ends on the left side of the other. This creates one large sheet of mesh connected in the middle. The finished end should be at the top.

Fold the large sheet in half. Connect the remaining loose ends.

Twist the loose ends at the bottom together. All of the loose ends of wire are now twisted together.

Using your hands, shape the wire frame into a basket.

Place the suet, available at most pet stores or supermarkets, into the wire basket.

Using wire or string, hang the suet feeder from a tree or other structure. Since pileated woodpeckers are shy birds, place it in a secluded spot away from other bird feeders.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take care not to cut your fingers on the sharp wire.

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