Snags provide ideal feeding sites for woodpeckers as many insects live and reproduce in decaying wood. Many snags are covered with small holes made by foraging woodpeckers. Though woodpeckers have powerful bills and neck muscles, they are only able to excavate nests in trees with soft decaying centers. Thus, dead or dying trees are preferred excavation sites. Unlike most other cavity_nesting birds, woodpeckers rarely use birdhouses. 22
Position the house so its opening does not face into direct sunlight or prevailing winds. Full or partial shade will help keep the house cooler, and a more protected location will be safer. If necessary, a longer overhang above the entrance can also help provide shade and shelter. Angle the house so rain cannot easily run into the opening or through ventilation holes. Some bird house models include an angled face to ease water runoff, and a larger roof overhang can also help keep the interior of the house dry. The house could also be positioned in a more sheltered area, such as underneath the eaves of a roof or against the trunk of a large, full tree that will help protect the bird house.