Orchard Patrol Birdfeeder

{26th Feb. 7} Introducing the official Staddons' Orchard Patrol Birdfeeder!    An idea was put into action in 2004 which has turned out to be a success after a two-year trial. The idea was to make a specially designed birdfeeder that would attract specific beneficial species of birds to the orchard area. The beneficial species include those with the habit of finding and eating the harmful insects in tree bark and branches. Of course, we were not very interested in attracting the fruit-eating birds, and the seed-eaters posed little {26th Feb. 7} Mr. Downy Woodpecker comes frequently tobenefit. A little research revealed that these beneficial species include Brown Creepers, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers, Chickadees and Titmice. Interestingly, black oil sunflower seeds and suet are the favorite foods of these species while at the same time being less attractive to other birds.

{26th Feb. 7} Mrs. Downy Woodpecker seems to come around just as often as Mr. Downy does.    As for the feeder, it should resemble a tree trunk with food in the cracks. It should be designed to hold suet and sunflower seeds, possibly peanuts, and should have no perches in order to encourage only the species that easily cling to the sides of trees. {26th Feb. 7} A Tufted Titmouse in the orchard because of the feeder.Even though we have really only used sunflower seeds, the feeder has done an excellent job of bringing all the above species into the orchard. All except for the Brown Creeper, that is, which only likes suet and is difficult to attract even with that.

    We keep the feeder up from September through March. It is an especially valuable source of food for the birds when the ground is covered with snow. Keeping it up in the springtime brings riots of {26th Feb. 7} This Carolina Wren seems attracted to the area by the sounds of the other birds, but since his quest is only for insects and spiders, his visit is brief.cowbirds. Further improvements include a way to attract birds that eat almost entirely insects (but not bees) in the summer, and creating more cover in the orchard area for the birds to hide in. A second feeder may be in order as the orchard expands.

{26th Feb. 7} Cheerful Chickadees flock to the feeder and keep the area alive with action!    “The eyes of all wait upon Thee; and Thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him: He also will hear their cry and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that love Him: but all the wicked will He destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless His holy name forever and ever” (Psalm 145:15-21).

It was a delight to take some time on my birthday to snap these photos. The birds certainly bring praise to their Creator!

{26th Feb. 7} This resourceful Black-capped Chickadee a

{26th Feb. 7} A cautious White-breasted Nuthatch comes to the feeder when it feels safe.

{26th Feb. 7} A Tufted Titmouse enjoying his sunflower


  1. Robert February 16, 2007 at 6:42 pm #

    Michael! I really enjoyed reading your post! These are great photos. What an enjoyable way to spend your birthday, capturing a piece of the wonder of God’s creation!

  2. James February 17, 2007 at 8:15 am #

    What a valuable article from the Staddon Department of the Exterior. 🙂 But the pictures are even better! I am motivated to out and get some myself. (I like the green color of the feeder too, very peculiar.)

  3. Daniel February 17, 2007 at 2:49 pm #

    What splendid pictures! It has really been enjoyable watching all the flippety-flap-and-a-fluttering out our window during meal times. 🙂 They add a lot to our wintry window scene there in the dining room.

  4. Joshua February 19, 2007 at 10:48 am #

    The tips and key points on setting up such a situation are very insightful. Thank you for sharing your understanding Michael. We will have to give this try in our coming orchard.

  5. Michael February 26, 2007 at 9:34 am #

    Safflower seed is also a good type of seed to use to attract nuthatches, chickadees, and all kinds of woodpeckers. I haven’t asked around for it so I don’t know how easy it is to find. If anyone is interested, we have been wanting to make some plans for this birdfeeder so that other folks can make it too, but so far nobody has had time.


  1. StaddonFamily.com » Blog Archive » Birds in the Backyard - October 16, 2007

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    […] work along with me in the orchard that did not allow me to take their pictures that day. Wonderful birds like the Nuthatches and Brown Creepers, and countless spiders and pollinating insects and […]

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