In the last hour I have had visits from the following kinds of woodpeckers in my yard:
Red-Bellied Woodpeckers and
I normally also have Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers around, but I believe my local crew has already migrated south. In short, my yard is woodpecker friendly. In addition to the the obvious suet feeders, I never remove dead trees unless they threaten to fall on my home. Dead trees provide nesting locations, and food for all of my woodpecker friends (with the exception of the sapsuckers). In turn these birds with all their newly created holes create lots of habitat for many other animals. Oh yes, my local bear population also appreciates my suet feeders!
Yes, Hairy the “Hairy Woodpecker” is the star of a new children’s book. In the book, Hairy, visits his forest sky friends … other northern forest birds … and asks what they do! (pdf book excerpt). Over the course of 32 pages, Hairy learns much about his friends.
In the meantime, you may have noticed the new section of this blog (see top menubar) “Birding With Children. I will give away a copy of the book, But That Is Not Me, to the person who submits the best idea for “birding with children” via the comments section of that page (i.e. not this web page).
But That Is Not Me! will be available for purchase at a cost of $12 via this web site and Amazon by October 15th.
Sometimes it pays to stay home! I had not been birding since last Friday, and having a few moments before dinner this Tuesday evening I had planned on heading out to find some shorebirds. However, my backyard birds had other ideas. As I walked down the steps outside my home, I noticed one hummingbird aggressively defending the bee balm from all comers. This action is not unusual, but that Ruby Throat decided to perch on the flowers themselves.
For the next hour, between a few trips indoors to check some photos I watched this small bird defend my garden. I could even count upon with some degree of certainty that my small friend would land on the same exact flower after either feeding or fending off competitors for this piece of garden. I hope you enjoy the video in which there are two primary sounds … the beating of the hummingbird’s wings, and it song (20 second mark).
Although our weather can be highly variable … with temperature drops of 30 degrees when the wind shifts off Lake Superior, our local populace has been busy either raising families, or making preparations.
Merlin Hunting for Breakfast (mouth of Lester River on Lake Superior)
Mom Always Liked You Best! (Trumpeter Swan family at MacQuarrie Wetlands)
My Cover Appears to be Blown!
Snapping Turtle Laying Down Eggs
Calling Out for a Mate (Wilson’s Snipe at the Roy Johnson Wetlands)