Friday, October 6, 2017
A DESIRABLE NEWCOMER
If there is one type of bird I've missed since moving from the North woods to city life, it's the woodpecker. I'd had downy and hairy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, and even a few pileateds. But in the city, I was beginning to think my habitat was no longer suited for woodpeckers.
Then, one day as I was outside with Gracie, I thought I heard the faint drumming sound a woodpecker makes. I kept an eye out for one and a few days later, I saw a Downy Woodpecker drumming away on my lilac bush.
It was exciting to have this smallest of woodpeckers visiting. I know they are drawn to dead wood, which made we wonder about the health of my aging lilac.
Then I saw the attraction. In one of the recent windstorms, a branch was torn off my lilac, leaving this gaping hole.
And sure enough, the next day, the little Downy was enjoying whatever bugs were found within the hole.
I hoped to keep the Downy coming so I bought a suet feeder and hung it near the lilac bush. Luckily, it has returned. It pecks at the tree a few times, jumps to the feeder, extracts a hunk of suet, and then flies off into the large tree stand at the back of my property. I wonder if there will be more woodpecker visitors joining the little Downy.