21 December 2008

A Red-headed Sunday

if the ivory-billed woodpecker is "the lord god bird," does that make the pileated woodpecker "the son-of-a-gun bird?"

this lovely gem has enjoyed my suet for years now, but within the last week insists on 5-10 minute feeds. no one has, so far, challenged his authority, not even the jays, crows, or the towhee family who may outnumber and certainly out-annoy but not outweigh him, even en toto...

i have to say i'm lucky to have all five western washington woodpeckers in the greenbelt behind my tax deduction, but my favourite of the bunch is the pileated.

as for "the others", the surprises on the suet have been many, from towhees to song and fox sparrows. at the moment, a towhee is showing a song sparrow who is boss by literally climbing into the suet container and flaring wings and tail feathers promiscuously. the sparrow isn't backing down, though, as the flaring and hopping and flitting that is good for one is obviously just as good for the other.

the encounter ends as a draw, as both flit completely off the railing and out-of-sight...

before friday night's entertainment, we had about 4 inches of snow on the ground. by this evening, we have not quite a foot of white heaven, but underneath is almost an inch of compacted teflon... if you don't have to drive tonight or tomorrow, please don't.

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