Thursday, February 26, 2009

Birds and More Birds

Three Pine Island: the dead deer lies on the other side

Roark! Roark!  Caw, Caw! Caw, Caw!  Skreeeee!  Raven, crow, eagle: I heard them but didn't see them at the dead deer site today.  Wait, I did see one -- a juvenile bald eagle, all brown with pale streaks on his head, like he'd been to the beauty parlor for blond highlights.  He briefly circled the site, then must have spied me and split.  I thought I was pretty well hidden among hemlocks, but they don't call them eagle-eyed for nothing.

Anyhow, there's always something to see in the woods, even if you don't find what you set out to see.  Today, it was a pileated woodpecker -- no, make that two pileated woodpeckers, and both in the same tree.  And hitching along around the trunk up there as if they were pals, no riotous cackles or flapping of wings in challenge.  Must have been mates.  (Sorry I don't have a photo; distance, branches, and constant motion impeded my getting a clear shot.)

These woodpeckers sure have been busy.  I keep coming across piles of woodchips at the bases of trees,  look up, and sure enough, there's the tell-tale oblong cavity.   And some of these cavities are really huge!  I've seen them three or four feet long by one foot wide by six or eight inches deep.  Are they excavating holes for nesting?  Are they just finding lots of bugs all in the same spot?  Or are they just like guys of all species:  "Hey, look at me!  I'm bigger and better than all the rest."  (Do female woodpeckers dig big cavities, too?) 

1 comment:

Virginia Boyle said...

Your photographs are so beautiful. I loved the lichen ones way back on Valentine's day. Also the one here with the wing prints in the snow. I also wonder about the fungus on the tree and will be interested to see if anyone gives you any information. I haven't been in the woods lately, but I saw 1/4 inch of daffodil coming up in my garden!