Thursday, February 7, 2013

Seen but no Proof

Tuesday, while we were enjoying lunch at work in front of Bird TV, we watched a chipmunk scamper around the pond, past the dripper, under the log and disappear around the building.  A chipmunk in early Feb, when the temps were in the 20s?  Very odd...very odd indeed.

This morning, while walking the dog, I heard the call of a red-bellied woodpecker.  I could here it, but not see it.  While T was taking a pitstop, I looked around and saw a snag among the roadside trees.  At the very tippy top was a perfectly round hole.  Hm, thought I.  I wonder if the bird is in there.

Moments later, there was a flash of red, the rattling call, and then it was gone.  Another flash of red, below the hole I spotted, and it too disappeared.

It turns out, there was/is a second hole maybe eight inches below the first one I spotted, and the woodpecker was in there.  Every few seconds it poked its head out and "spit out" debris, and sometimes it would call.  Could it be housekeeping, prepping a potential nest sight for this spring's brood of eggs?  Or is it just tidying up the detritus that collects from living in the hole during the winter?

Do woodpeckers roost in cavities when they don't have a nest and aren't raising young?  I would think so...don't really see them as perch-on-a-branch-at-night birds.  But, spring isn't too far away now, so maybe this bird is just getting ready.

1 comment:

  1. I really don't know either, but I'm thinking along the same line as you...seems likely that they would roost in a cavity at night, in the winter...