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Friday, 23 June 2017

Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers, especially sapsuckers love the old wood forest in Breadalbane. During our recent visit, we heard many bird calls, but the dominant bird sound was the tapping of woodpeckers


My husband and I stopped numerous times to look, trying to pinpoint the source of the tapping. On one occasion, there was activity inside a huge woodpecker hole and we waited, but to no avail. The bird was too busy to exit.


 


This old trunk, with its row of holes, was evidence of a yellow bellied sapsucker. 


 


I finally saw a yellow bellied sapsucker. 


 


He landed on a piece of plywood which was attached to a tree near one of the trail entries. 


 


He drilled at that sign, flew away and came back several times while I watched. I could imagine what he hoped to find in the old piece of plywood but how long would he continue without success? 


Later, I discovered that drilling on such structures by woodpeckers can be a way to mark territory. The sign was perfect for the bird's purposes as well. 


The more I observe and study birds, the more amazed I am by their intelligence and instincts. 




28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very nice pictures.

DJan said...

Those are some great shots of the woodpecker, Marie. I agree with you about birds. They are such fine creatures. :-)

PerthDailyPhoto said...

He's a little sweetie Marie, that beak must be pretty hardy! I can see how they mark their territory but I wonder if eventually all that drilling into the trunk damages the tree ?

Joanne Noragon said...

I had several woodpeckers at the old house, plus a piliated in the woods. How I loved them.

HWIT BLOGG said...

I just love your pictures! Yes birds are very interesting to study...I have a blackbird who always following me in the garden :)
Have a great weekend now.
Titti

Shammickite said...

I often hear them tapping away but very hard to see!

Elephant's Child said...

What a wonderful series.
I am so with you on the bird front. Bird-brained is NOT the insult that most people intend. They are so often clever, ingenious and adaptable. And lots of them are incredible parents too.

bill burke said...

I have heard them but never seen one in person. Good capture and great info on the wee bird. I'm sure it's fun observing them doing their thing. Have a wonderful weekend Marie.

Debbie said...

we have so many woodpeckers in this area - and a wide variety. nice capture, they can be very hard to photograph!! what you said in your last sentence is so true, they have very distinctive habits!!!

ps..my trip to see my son was an 8 hour car ride. i should note that, this was a long one, much longer than we like to drive. we sometimes fly to see him but i wanted to bring food for the week, in coolers, and i could not do that if i was flying!!!

Marie Smith said...

Thank you, Mildred. Have a great weekend.

Marie Smith said...

Birds are fine creatures indeed, Jan.

Marie Smith said...

I have never heard of a woodpecker damaging a tree but it could happen I guess, PDP.

Marie Smith said...

Imagine the pounding their brains take, Joanne. They are incredible.

Marie Smith said...

There are so many blackbirds here too, Titti.

Marie Smith said...

They are difficult to pin point, Shammickite.

Marie Smith said...

We have a robin nesting under our patio these day, EC. We are looking forward to seeing her parenting skills after the five eggs hatch.

Marie Smith said...

The woodpeckers are incredible to watch, Bill.

Marie Smith said...

That's a long drive, Debbie, but so worth it I imagine.

Tomoko said...

Woodpecker is a charming bird. I like his red head. I hope I had a chance to spot a woodpecker nearby wood.
My husband says,woodpeckers are tapping up there!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I love watching the birds too and wonder if you have read The Bird Detective by Bridget Stutchbury? It's about investigating the secret lives of birds.

Marie Smith said...

Patience is so important when stalking birds for photos, Tomoko. Good luck.

Marie Smith said...

I will read it soon, Judith.

Ratty said...

You had me right at the title. I love the subject of woodpeckers. I don't even need to see one if there's talk of them. I'm glad you did both.

Marie Smith said...

They are amazing creatures, Ratty.

Anvilcloud said...

I'm glad s/he showed up for you and that you got close, or at least your camera did.

Marie Smith said...

She must not have seen me as a threat, AC. I stood still for a long time and zoomed in slightly.

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

Great picture of the yellow bellied sapsucker! Beautiful picture of her thoughtful stance! Interesting how they are marking their territory too! We see lots of woodpeckers here too, but it is not a good sign for us to see a woodpecker on a tree, it could mean the dreaded pine beetles. A woodpecker is what first alerted us to what had happened to kill so many of our pines. They are amazing creatures. :)

Marie Smith said...

They are indeed amazing, Marilyn.