Sunday, February 1, 2009

Red-bellied Woodpecker

It's uncommon to find her on the ground. In fact, she's most often poking into the dead trees where my land drops off into swamp. Occasionally she'll take a few sunflower seeds from the feeder.

She's a Red-bellied Woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus, the largest woodpecker in the eastern US. Males will have that red hood extending right over the head to the beak. The name is a bit unusual, referring to a faint red blush not always present on the belly.

Today's weather is in the 40's F. It feels so comfortable! I took the opportunity to collect specimen photos and a good handful of branches and weeds. I even found a new gall! Prior commitments prevent me from today exploring my new found treasures, but I will soon post on these discoveries. (Many of them, I still have to figure out what they are!)

I wonder what the neighbors think as they see me staring up into the trees or plowing through deep melting snow, branches stuck out of any available pocket? At least, I'm beginning to get used to the spectacle that I probably create. I plan at some time to design Nuncketest bookmarks to hand out to neighbors and those who wonder what I'm up to.

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