Posted by: Dan | August 28, 2006

The Woodpecker Tree

It’s very interesting to see how the vegetation of a backyard effects what birds you see there, and their behavior. In the case of woodpeckers, a specific tree will sometimes be particularly appealing to a few species, either because it is inhabited by tasty insects, or because a protein-rich fruit is ripening.

I have the latter case right now – with a rather large Staghorn Sumac (they only grow up to about 15ft tall, and they’re very common around this area), that has a plethora of sizable cone-like berry clusters growing vertically, that has attracted at least one of each: Red-bellied, Hairy, Downy, and now Pileated Woodpeckers. The Pileated was of course especially cool, simply because of their size and the bright red crests that the males have. My girlfriend was able to snap a great picture of it through the window (below the fold), that I thought I’d share.

Note the bright red crest of the woodpecker, and the red cone-like berry clusters. You can also see the top of my birdfeeder pole in the foreground.


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