Sunday, February 21, 2010

Red-bellied Woodpeckers

Years ago, the first time I spotted a Red-bellied Woodpecker, there was no confusing its call, the churrr rattle.  But I just didn't see the red belly.   What was he thinking -  the ornithologist who named this bird?

Then I got to thinking about how those early bird men "saw" them - in the hand, not through binoculars.  In the hand - the red belly is striking.  This winter, it's been easy to see it on the male in whose territory my feeding station resides.  While he prefers the peanut butter suet feeder right outside my kitchen window, I've also seen him on corn.

This afternoon, I took the Prius out to look for Ruffed Grouse, and wouldn't ya know, the first bird we spotted along County Rd V by the cornfield up the road, was a red-bellied pecking away on the ground along the roadside, along with a dozen Horned Larks and a surprise pair of Eastern Bluebirds.

As we headed up the snow-covered road to the top of the coulee, a Northern Flicker flew right in front of us.  We haven't seen one of those at our feeders - ever.   What's that all about?

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