Monday, February 4, 2013

Pecker's Blast!

How did you wake up this morning? Did your mom scream and yell at your from the kitchen? Or your dad flipped open your warm blanket while you were having the sweetest dreams? Or, like the most of working adults, your alarm clock played you this annoying, repetitious beeps day after day, year after year? I could never hear what Mom say and dad gave up on me no matter what tricks he played, and the worst is I can never find my alarm clock. I guess it must be either malfunctioned or broken. The good news is, birds always find a way to wake me up!

Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus, male.

I could not help but hear this loud blast from a Red-bellied Woodpecker hammering on neighbor's gutter this morning! I jumped out of my bed and grabbed my camera and by the time, I rushed to my backyard, this drumming pecker was gone. I was a bit of upset because I really wanted to video a drumming woodpecker to use in my upcoming short video. Oh, well, I thought I should get up earlier tomorrow since woodpecker's breeding season starts in the late winter. Hammering on tree trunk or metal objects such as chimney cap or gutter is their way of  territorial announcement. As I collected my gears and tried to get ready for my work, I saw something moving between branches. Its golden, yellow colors reflected by the morning sun made no mistake that it was a Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)! Flickers are like most woodpeckers, they can climb up the trunk of trees but they mainly forage ants on the ground. The best part was this flicker was very near and he did not move much! While this flicker enjoyed his morning sun, I enjoyed photographing him ;)

 During my snap, one Pileated Woodpecker showed up, few Downy were always around and one Yellow-bellied Sapsucker quietly sat on a River Birch tree. Though I missed a hammering Red-bellied Woodpecker, I got a beautiful male Northern Flicker! What a pleasurable way to wake up! Happy Birding! -- Linda

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