What time of day do woodpeckers eat?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

Woodpeckers, fascinating creatures with their distinctive drumming and unique feeding habits. As an avid bird watcher and nature enthusiast, I have spent countless hours observing woodpeckers and their feeding patterns. While there is some variation depending on the species and location, woodpeckers generally have specific times of day when they are most active in search of food.

In my experience, woodpeckers tend to be early risers, starting their feeding activities shortly after sunrise. This is when they are most energetic and actively foraging for insects, larvae, and other tasty morsels found within tree trunks and branches. The quiet morning hours are often filled with the sound of their rhythmic tapping as they excavate their breakfast.

However, as the morning progresses, woodpeckers begin to slow down their feeding activities. By mid-morning, around 9 am or so, they often take a break and rest. During this time, they may retreat to a secluded spot in the trees or find a cozy perch to relax and preen their feathers. It’s not uncommon to spot a woodpecker perched on a branch, basking in the warm sunlight, after a busy morning of feeding.

After their mid-morning siesta, woodpeckers may resume their feeding activities in the late morning or early afternoon. This is when they are more likely to visit bird feeders, especially if filled with suet or nuts, which are favorite treats for these birds. I have personally witnessed the delightful sight of a downy woodpecker clinging to a suet feeder, pecking away at the delicious food.

However, it’s important to note that woodpeckers are opportunistic feeders and may continue to search for food throughout the day if necessary. If there is an abundant food source available, such as an infested tree or a well-stocked feeder, woodpeckers may visit at any time. So, it’s always a good idea to keep your eyes peeled and be ready to capture a glimpse of these amazing birds.

Woodpeckers are most active in the early morning hours, shortly after sunrise, when they energetically search for insects and larvae. They may take a break during the mid-morning but can resume feeding later in the morning or early afternoon, particularly if attracted to bird feeders. However, woodpeckers are adaptable and may feed at any time of the day if the opportunity arises. So, keep your feeders stocked and your binoculars handy to enjoy the fascinating world of woodpeckers.