starlite626
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Location: New York State

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

The yellow-bellied sapsucker is puting holes in all the trees. Is there any way to stop this and will this hurt the trees.

opabinia51
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Yellow bellied sap sucker, sounds like a bird..... try spreading pepper around the trees. Does anyone else have any ideas?
Feed the soil, not the plants.

Charlie MV
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down a bit.
Last edited by Charlie MV on Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TheLorax
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Charlie MV is on the money, birds could care less if they roll in pepper. I didn't know that some store bought suets contained pepper to deter squirrels. Neat! We make our own suet over here and that's a handy little fact to have in my back pocket as I never thought of trying to toss in pepper to my suet mix. Thanks so much for mentioning that Charlie MV.

There is a reason why this bird's common name contains the word sapsucker. I suspect the bird is having a go at all of your trees to get to the sap.

I've never seen sapsuckers do any long term harm because trees will callous over the small wounds made by the bird. One thing though, it's been my experience sapsuckers generally choose trees that are already stressed or diseased so you might want to check into if anything else is going on with your trees.

https://nationalzoo.si.edu/ConservationAndScience/MigratoryBirds/Featured_Birds/default.cfm?bird=Yellow-bellied+Sapsucker
excerpt from above-
Like any good forester, sapsuckers are selective in using particular trees over others, and they invest a lot of time in managing trees for both current and future use. They are known to feed on as many as 1,000 different species of trees, although they show a preference for certain species within a given area. Birches, sugar maples, and scotch pines are a few common favorites. They often will select individual trees that are wounded or weakened, such as from insects, disease, lightning, or wind. The reason for this may be because the sap of trees in poor health contains higher levels of amino acids and protein.
Way cool that you have of these birds on your property starlite626!

Charlie MV
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they won't eat. 8)
Last edited by Charlie MV on Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NEWisc
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Nice story about the racoons. :D

And not to make lite about the sapsucker situation, but I can't help but laugh at that name - it sounds like something John Wayne would have said to the villains in one of the old cowboy movies "You Yellow-bellied Sapsucker ... " :lol: :lol:
Last edited by NEWisc on Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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opabinia51
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I don't reccomend using lethal techniqes to rid yourself of pests, This bird is most likely tapping your trees either for sap or for insects. If you go spreading poisons around you are going to hurt the local habitat and not just the birds.

You can try to attract some of the predators of the birds to keep their numbers down, but don't go out hunting the birds. They may be benefiting you in some way that you don't know.

Does anyone know of any plants that would repel these birds?

Perhaps you can put a scarcrow up or statuates of some type of predator of the bird.
Feed the soil, not the plants.

Charlie MV
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BOOM
Last edited by Charlie MV on Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TheLorax
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We're in the US, that bird is protected by the migratory bird treaty act. Starlite only asked how to stop it because s/he was probably concerned it was doing damage to his/her trees. Now that this person knows the trees "heal" themselves, I doubt seriously if any thoughts of even wasting time or money to deter the bird are being considered.

Laughing my rear end off about 'Mensa'. Poor you.

Question for you- I have two Oriole jelly feeders outside. I know the raccoons are getting into them at night because I've been shining a flood light out there and can see them clinging to the tree stretching and reaching to scoop out the jelly with their paws. The raccoons are neat about being thieves, they are leaving the glass container in the feeder. What I didn't realize until recently is that my squirrels have acquired a sweet tooth too. I've been watching them hang upside down to knock the glass jelly jars out of the holders. They've broken two already and I've had to replace them at a cost of like $5 a piece. Do you think I can mix cayenne right into the grape jelly to stop this? I should be able to do this I would think. I'm tired of running to the wild bird store to buy replacements.

I am definitely adding cayenne to my suet mix this fall. Really great idea.

Charlie MV
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rile 'em.
Last edited by Charlie MV on Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TheLorax
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Sheesh, I'm going to have to be real careful when ever I see your username come up in a thread. I think I am still choking and gagging while gasping for air from reading your reply at the same time I was drinking OJ and it came out my nose from laughing. This is your fault Charlie MV and OJ burns goshdarnitall!

Around here it's not just the raccoons and the squirrels but the chipmunks, heron, Canada geese, deer, opossums, rabbits, cats, English house sparrows, and European starlings. I long ago waved the white flag and surrendered to all but the cats, English house sparrows, and starlings. I suspect we could exchange a few garden war stories.

I'll mix some cayenne into the grape jelly and report back in two days!

TheLorax
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I mixed in about 1/2 tsp of cayenne to about 3 T of grape jelly. One entire feeder was knocked to the ground when I got home earlier today and the other one was dragged off some where. Both jelly wells were emptied. I don't think it was the raccoons that did this as this happened during the day.

The squirrels don't seem to be deterred. Should I up the amount of cayenne I'm mixing in?

Charlie MV
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video camera :lol:
Last edited by Charlie MV on Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TheLorax
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Nope, not a neighbor or a kid. my neighbors have their own squirrel wars and wouldn't bother messing with my head. I have seen the squirrels hanging upside down emptying the jelly wells and I saw the raccoons in the tree scooping before. I just am not sure which one is responsible for the emptying of the jelly dishes this time because I was gone.

No video on that area although we do have a cam inside a woodpecker nest box close by.

My husband cut the lawn and found the one rod iron oriole feeder dragged off about 10 yards into the brush. I'm glad to have it back. I'll have to have him figure out some way to keep them from being lifted. Maybe wiring them to the nail?

Sorry about your heatwave/drought.

I've got a good squirrel war story to share with you. I'll have to see yours first before I decide whether to share mine or not. Please post a link when you start your Squirrel Wars thread.

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