Lexi, those are gorgeous photos!! What a great idea for using the leftover wreaths, thanks for sharing! Sounds like you have quite the of food offerings for them. And I’m guessing we’re probably using the same no-melt peanut suet.
As for the nesting boxes, it’s funny because we put up 3: I put pine shavings in two of them and pine needles in the third. For no reason, other than I had read that all were suitable for winter roosting (if any birds were interested in the boxes for that purpose – we also have up several roosting boxes, but the birds don’t use them.). The box with the pine needles was/is used occasionally by a downy woodpecker this winter. The bb’s chose one of the nesting boxes with the pine shavings, most likely because of it’s prime location. I can’t lie, I did really enjoy watching the bb’s work throughout the fall and winter on removing the pine shavings. They showed up every morning like clockwork to do their renovating. :) Now that the renovations are done (they removed it all), I don’t see them quite as much, but they do check-in routinely as expected. I had gathered up a lot of pine needles last fall and placed them on the ground around the chosen nest box, and they did pull a few in on top of the pine shavings! Next year, I will definitely use pine needles in the box they have clearly chosen as their preference. Photo of the male removing some of the pine shavings: <script async src=”//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>