Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Woodpeckers

Are you getting tired of woodpeckers yet? I hope not, because I have some more to share with you. Here's Mr. Hairy Woodpecker on the suet log. I was happy to see that he wasn't the least bit intimidated by the starling deterrent cage and taking advantage of the suet available in the lower holes on the log.

I was extremely surprised to see this Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker in my backyard this afternoon. Here she's sharing the suet with a starling.

Here's a better look at her underneath and you can how she got her name! I checked my field guide and determined that this is a female because her throat is white (the male would have a red throat).

Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers are a summer bird in Minnesota and I rarely see them in my yard, even in the summer. According to my field guides, the farthest north wintering range of these birds is the southern most parts of Kansas, Missouri and Illinois, so I'm not sure what this poor bird is still doing here. Here's one more look at this pretty lady.

Here are a couple pictures of my Red-Bellied Woodpecker pair enjoying seed from some different feeders. They seem to favor seed over suet. This is the male.

And here's the female, trying to get a little protection from the weather.

As you can tell from all these pictures, we're having a little snowstorm today. Actually we're in a winter storm warning until 6 PM tomorrow evening. It's been snowing since about 8 AM today and I guess we've probably gotten 5-6 inches already (on top of the 5.4" we got yesterday). The temps are dropping rapidly and the wind is starting to pick up. The weather service is predicting winds of 20-30 mph with gusts to 40 mph overnight. I'm not planning to leave the house again this weekend (except to fill the birdfeeders tomorrow morning). It's going to be a good weekend to get the last of my Christmas present projects finished!


Mama Pea said...

Hi, Ruthie - Once again, you are getting more snow and have a colder temperature than we do! What's going on?

That poor little Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker! Can we buy her a bus ticket south somewhere?

That Red-Bellied Woodpecker sure is a handsome fella . . . nice pictures, as usual.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Maybe that sap-sucker will winter over with you now that she's found good food. The Lincoln's sparrow is still here, hunkered down.

Our snow is still falling too and the wind is HOWLING!

Stay warm Ruthie!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I never tire of looking at woodpeckers. To have a sapsucker at a feeder is special. I have had one in the yard but never at a feeder.

Anonymous said...

I love woodpeckers, and was excited to see a red-bellied in my tree today. It's been a couple of years since I've seen one here.

We're in for another storm tomorrow after getting 6 inches of snow and ice yesterday. Staying in sounds like a plan!

Marsha said...

The woodpeckers are all so pretty, they really are striking birds. Snow & wind here too.

NCmountainwoman said...

Oh, we never tire of woodpeckers. We're lacking a Sapsucker, but I keep looking and hoping.

Stay safe and warm in this weather.

Mary said...

I'm still waiting for woodpeckers to return - the Downy and Red-Bellied. Gosh, Ruthie, be careful. I've been watching the news about the northern half of the country.

It was near 70 today. 8 days of cloud, mist, rain. We had 30 minutes of sun yesterday.

Stay warm!

Ruth said...

I had a female sapsucker at my feeder one year ago exactly during the Christmas bird count. It was such an unusual sighting that it even made local paper. I did the feeder count today for the CBC, but saw nothing unusual. I had my pair of Downys as usual. Great pictures!

Chicken Mama said...

Call me shallow, but I just like sayin' the name: "You Yeller-Bellied Sap Sucker!" (Picture me in a ten-gallon hat sauntering down a dusty Old West street at High Noon.)

Sorry . . . I couldn't resist.

Jayne said...

Love your sweet sapsucker Ruthie! Such great shots of her pretty yellow belly. :c)

Anonymous said...

That sapsucker sure is a striking bird, I've never seen one. The colors are beautiful. Enjoy your downy and hairy woodpeckers, they are always so busy.


RuthieJ said...

Hi Mama Pea,
I checked the MOU website for county listings of the YB Sapsucker and found that they are occasionally seen in the winter in Olmsted County, so I'll have to keep the suet feeders filled and hope that she sticks around here and survives until spring.

Hi Lynne,
What county are you in? I checked the MOU website for Lincoln's Sparrow sightings and no winter sightings are listed in Ramsey and the last one in Hennepin was 12/97. I think you have something very special there and I know you'll take good care of that little sparrow. (are you going to put another brushpile out for the winter?)

Thanks Lisa. I hope she makes it through the winter too.

Hi Jan M,
I hope you're staying safe and warm. Ice is my greatest fear in the winter. Fortunately these last couple of storm have been all snow for us. Enjoy your woodpeckers!

Hi Marsha,
I saw on the news last night that you were in the blizzard warning. I suppose you get to spend some time today digging out before the next round of snow arrives?

Hi Carolyn,
We're safe and warm here and I hope you are too, enjoying your woodpeckers.

Gosh Mary, 70 sounds pretty good. We had 25 and sun the other day and it felt like spring! I'm sure your woodpeckers will be back soon once your other birdies get the word out.

Thanks Ruth. It was our CBC here in Rochester yesterday too, but I know I'm outside of the count circle radius, so I've never participated. I hope you stay safe and warm when this next round of wintery weather gets to your area.

Hi Chicken Mama,
LOL, I always think of the same thing too!

Thanks Jayne. I hope you see one in your backyard this winter too.

Hi Mom,
I think Anna gets these sapsuckers in her backyard more frequently than I do. I sure was surprised to see one here--it's been a couple years since my last backyard sighting.

Anonymous said...

I shall never tire of your bird photos.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks ScienceGuy--you're a sweetie to say that!

Heidi said...

Nope, can't get tired of woodpecker pics :) Glad to know something survives up there in MN besides crazy people!

Mary C said...

Ruthie, I love all of your woodpecker pix. But I sure don't like your temps - as I am commenting here your weather widget says -6 and blowing snow. Wind chill must be at least -15. Brrr!

Larry said...

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker-nice one! Too bad its name makes it sound like a coward.-I've got the Hairy and a flicker at my feeders-no sapsucker though.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Larry,
I haven't seen that sapsucker again since the day I took these pictures. Hopefully she headed south.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Larry,
I haven't seen that sapsucker again since the day I took these pictures. Hopefully she headed south.