Is It Bird Food–or Art?

This is a great item I got for Christmas.  It’s required a little creativity on my part to make it a “bird” feeder and not a squirrel feeder but I think I’ve got it down now–and just today I saw a red bellied woodpecker enjoying it and caching the suet in the bark of the tree (which is a sugar maple, acer saccarum). The nuthatches have checked it out but have not liked it–I’ve seen them wiping their little beaks off after indulging!

If you look closely you can see florist wire beneath the suet balls.  Originally, before I found the suet balls I have there now, the squirrels would grab the balls (which are actually quite heavy and would sometimes take several tries) run up the tree with them and devour them almost as fast as I could put them out.

These balls have hot pepper in them somehow.  The birds don’t taste it but mammals like squirrels and chipmunks do–so the balls stay in place until the birds find and eat them.  And now that my red-bellied has, I doubt they’ll last long!