Tips to Attracting Clinging Birds To Your Backyard
The Clinging Birds include those with strong feet that make it easy for them to run up and down a tree trunk or to grasp onto a small surface to retrieve an insect or gnat. These include the Woodpeckers, Titmouse, Chickadees, and Nuthatches. Many people refer to the last three families of Clingers as the “polite” birds, as they often take one seed, fly off and eat or store it, and then come back for another. For this and other reasons, Clingers are often some of the most entertaining and desirable birds to attract to your yard, patio, deck, and even window. As a group, they are naturally curious and will often be the first visitors to your feeders.
These birds all use and will respond to nest box placement in your yard-Especially when dead standing timber is in short supply. Do these things and Woodpeckers will soon be providing a “rhythm” section in your yard with their drumming, while the rest of the Clingers will entertain you with their acrobatic antics.
Across the United States, Chickadees are frequent backyard visitors. In fact, they are often the first visitors to a new feeder. The most common Chickadees include the Black-Capped and Carolina. Place a nest box near a wooded area and it may become a home to a brood of six chicks. The youngsters are perfect miniatures of Mom and Dad, complete with caps and bibs. Chickadee nests are easy to identify, since they always use a nest box or natural cavity. The nest is a cup of woven grass lined with soft green moss. Chickadees are exciting and entertaining to watch and are well worth the effort to attract into your backyard. (More Chickadee facts on back page.)
These are small, stout, tree-climbers with strong woodpecker-like bills and strong feet. They have sturdy, square-cut tails, but don’t use them for bracing like woodpeckers do. They habitually go down trees head first. Most common Nuthatches include: the White-Breasted and Red-Breasted. Also seen in parts of the United States are: Brown-Headed and an often confused cousin, the Brown Creeper. Nuthatches will utilize houses and will come to feeders.
Actually the Chickadees are a member of this family. The Tufted Titmouse is the most common. It is a small, gray, mouse color bird. Many say it looks like a miniature cardinal. It has a distinctive “Peter-Peter-Peter” call.
These chisel-billed, wood boring birds have stiff spring tails that act as props when climbing. Red-Headed, Red-Bellied, Pileated (the original “Woody Woodpecker”), Downey, and Hairy Woodpecker, and their cousins, the Northern Flicker and Yellow- Bellied Sapsucker are the most common backyard visitors.
The Amazing Chickadee
- Can remember where they found food eight months earlier.
- Can enter a torpid condition on a cold night that drops its body temperature 20 degrees and slows its pulse and breathing 30%.
- Can gain 7-11% of its body weight each day and lose that same weight during a long winter night.
- Is likely to be the first to try a new birdfeeder.
Like most other birds you want to attract, the Clingers love black oil sunflower seeds, or better yet, hulled out sunflower kernels. What’s good is that their clinging ability lets you provide sunflower kernels in feeders like the “Clingers Only™” that other birds have trouble using. Provide peanuts or tree nut pieces, and every “Clinger” in the neighborhood will make sure they stop and visit you!! High-Energy Suet is a favorite of “Clingers”. Either provide the white suet from a butcher, or present one of the available cakes. The best cakes are those that contain only suet, peanuts, and peanut butter!! As “Clingers” can hang on a suet log feeder, suet logs are a great way to feed “Clingers”. Often, this is the most used feeder in a backyard! Ready to use Suet Plugs are available.