Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

Flashy Redhead


Some time ago this bird visited my yard, and at the time I had no idea what it was except that it was a type of woodpecker. Since then I have learned that it is a red-breasted sapsucker.  In the second photo you can see the light dot in front of its eye, one of the main identifying features. It also has a vertical white bar along its wing.

This fellow visited our campsite at Vernon Lake on Vancouver Island last week.

It was a treat to see him there, as they are not seen as often as the more prolific birds of the area.

Don’t you bug me while I eat,

As I’m looking for a treat,

I like insects, but as well

I make holes in trees — don’t tell!

I peck holes into the bark,

What a shame, it leaves a mark,

Not so healthy for the tree,

But provides some food for me.

Sometimes insects, always sap,

Either way it’s food to lap,

With my tongue, I slurp it up,

Better than a sippy cup.

Folks aren’t happy when I peck

In the trees, but what the heck,

Everybody needs to eat,

Tree trunk sap just can’t be beat.

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

43 thoughts on “Flashy Redhead

  1. Great poem and photos! Beautiful Woodpecker!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Anneli, great photos of this attractive bird! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve missed your wonderful posts about life in Anneli’s backyard. Welcome home!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, truly a flashy redhead. How fortunate for you to see him and that you had your camera ready to go. Love the photos!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was really wishing the window of the trailer wasn’t so dusty on the outside. It dulled the photos somewhat, but I was just glad to catch the pics I was able to. This one hung around the whole time we camped there, but only came out into the open when I had put the camera away. Saucy little guy.


  5. Welcome home! I’ve always loved wood peckers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Isn’t he a beautiful boy? Great poem. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A pretty bird and good pictures. I like the lovely poem too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Very stylish woodpecker! It’s interesting that so many woodpeckers right across the world are rather dramatic in their plumage. Hope you had a good camping trip and the Vancouver Island rain held off…

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wonder if that red head serves a purpose in the development of the bird over the millenia. The camping trip was rainy, and that was survivable, as we still had some good boating and fishing, but the campsite filled up with noisy people, kids, and out-of-control dogs on the last day or so, and that was the end of that. Time to come home anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is possible. It cannot be a coincidence that so many peaker species, from flamebacks in Singapore to royal woodpeckers in Mexico, have bright colours.

        Sorry the antisocial sorts found you on your trip. I looked up Vernon Lake on the map actually – I haven’t been there but I stayed in Tahsis for five months in 2017, so relatively close by VI standards.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Now that’s a beautiful bird! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. We saw our first red-breasted sapsucker this spring, Anneli. We have a bird book and have fun looking up some of our more distinguishable visitors. Your photos are lovely. Fun poem, too. We have some old dead trees that are full of holes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They really are cool, aren’t they? Good to have a bird book handy. Lately I’ve noticed that several of our (still living) trees have a lot of these holes. I think the living trees provide sap (and some insects) for the sapsucker types, while the dead and decayed ones provide insects for the other kinds of woodpeckers. I read that the sapsuckers also eat some of the cambium layer of the trees.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve tried identifying birds by their sound too as we have some noisy ones that start singing at 4:30 AM and go until 9:30 at night! Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, good point. You’ve just reminded me that when we drove into the campsite the first thing I heard was this sapsucker, only I didn’t recognize the sound at first. I only thought, that sounds like a woodpecker, and then when I saw it, I felt like I’d won the guessing game prize. After a while you get to know certain birds and it’s kind of rewarding to be able to identify them.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. There you go AGAIN! Wow.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Always fun to see a bird you don’t often come across. Very nice!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Definitely a flashy redhead. Loved the photos and poem, Anneli!

    Liked by 2 people


    Liked by 1 person

  15. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


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