Tag Archives: woodpecker

Redheads

“Yikes!” This guy was caught red-handed – well, maybe more like red-headed – vandalizing the maple tree. Just look at the holes he’s put into the bark! I guess they make great toeholds for him.

Who would think there is something inside that bark that makes it so enticing for him?

“Hold on,” he says. “I think I can hear something wiggling around in there.”

“Mmyeahhhh … worth having a poke around.”

“There he is! I can feel him in there. Tasty little morsel … if I can only get him out of there. I’ll follow it up with a slurp of syrup from the sap.”

“Yum! That was good, but what a lot of work for a snack. Gotta take a breather for a sec.”

“What’s that you say?” He’s shocked that I’ve questioned him. “Holes in the bark? So what? There’s tons of them. What’s one more?”

“But don’t you see that if you keep going around in a circle you’ll soon ring the tree?”

“So…?

“Well, the sap has to go up and down the tree to keep it alive.”

“But I’m a sapsucker. Duh! It’s what I do!”

“I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I held so still for her when I saw she had her camera.  But enough is enough.”

“I’ll pose for this one last picture and then I’m off. I can always come back later, when her arm gets tired, or her eyes hurt from squinting against the sun, or – hee hee – when her battery dies. All that zooming really eats batteries. 

Now. Where was I? Oh yes, continuing on this line of holes my buddies and I were working on last week.”

He’s Ba-ack!

Same tree, same kind of bird, and I would wager it’s THE same bird. He was here in July and now he’s back to one of his favourite restaurants, an old maple that has a lot of dying branches. The bark is probably loaded in bugs and grubs that will fill this bird’s belly.

When I did a post about him in July, I had no idea what kind of bird it was, but with the help of my followers, we narrowed it down to a red-breasted sapsucker.

Just like on his previous visit, he was not at all shy and let me take many pictures. I needed to do this because he moved so fast, pecking at the tree bark, that most of my photos were blurry. Here is one from when he held still for a split second.                                           dscn7491It’s hard to tell from the photo but he is about the size of a robin.

Mystery Bird

We have several birds from the woodpecker family around here, but I have never seen this one. My first thought was a redheaded woodpecker (for obvious reasons) but they have a definite white wing patch, solid black back, and solid white front..

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This fellow had a mottled front and specks of white on the black back. It could be an immature bird, but still….

Also note the light patch at the base of the beak by his eye. I would love to know what this bird is, so if anyone has any ideas, please enlighten me. It was quite happy to stay put for a long while and peck at this maple tree. Judging by the holes in the tree, he has been busy. He was about the size of a robin – maybe a tiny bit bigger.

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A Man’s Gotta Eat

When the cold weather hit us about ten days ago, I hurried out to make sure my birdfeeders were full, and added some suet blocks to the menu. One of the first to enjoy a meal of suet was this Oregon junco. My sister calls them her little soldiers because of their black helmets. (I took these pictures through a window and using the zoom lens so that accounts for the graininess, but it’s the only way I could get close to the birds.)010

But a rather large dinner guest arrived. The steller’s jay muscled his way past the little soldier. He gobbled down a big dinner and then beat a hasty retreat when an even bigger diner flew in.012

This woodpecker, a red-shafted northern flicker landed right on his dinner plate. He had his black bib on and came prepared for dining. He looks quite dapper with his polka-dot shirt and a slash of red lipstick on his moustache. No, it’s not Mrs. Flicker, according to my bird book. In bird families it’s the men who get all gussied up and the women who keep a low profile. So here we have Jack Flash and his red slash, holding on for dear life to his seat at the table.

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“Is it okay to start eating?” he asks. (Polite young man, isn’t he?)

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Oh, maybe I spoke too soon. He’s got food all over his mouth.

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“Did you say something?”

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I told him he had food on his face, but he didn’t seem to care. He just stuck his face right into his plate.

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“This place is a bit too picky for me. Maybe I’ll try ‘Avery’s Restaurant’ next door. They don’t stand there watching you eat, taking pictures like private investigators. I suppose they’ll mail these photos to my wife. But go ahead. See if I care. She’s out to a ladies’ lunch date at the Treehouse Diner with her girlfriends  having the Insect Borgasschmord. I’ll get whatever I can get wherever I can get it, and so what if I make a pig of myself? A man’s gotta eat.” 036