Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blizzards of 2010: Red-Bellied Woodpecker and Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

Let's maximize the red in the photo with a male cardinal and a male red-bellied woodpecker.
Here the male red-bellied woodpecker defends the suet feeder from the nearby starling while a female red-bellied woodpecker flies away.
Like the other woodpeckers, the red-bellied woodpecker enjoys the sap on the maples even if he has to dodge the icicles.  
Here the red-bellied woodpecker perches on the oak branches.
And here is the reason the red-bellied woodpecker is called red-bellied.  It is very hard to see this patch of red when he is attached to a tree trunk.  The other woodpecker in the photo is a yellow-bellied sapsucker.  
The yellow-bellied sapsucker shows up every year  in the Colvin Run Habitat during the middle two weeks of February.  Clearly a migratory time, as the yellow-bellied sapsucker usually winters south of Northern Virginia and summers north. In this photo, the yellow-bellied sapsucker enjoys the maple sap (of course) during the morning after.  The second blizzard delivered over 8" of snow to the branch.  For the record, the second storm delivered 30" of snow to the Habitat.  The winter total was over 70" setting a season record at nearby Dulles Airport.

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