Sunday, February 6, 2011

What's Black and White and Red All Over?

When outside gardening comes to a screeching halt in winter, we find other ways to entertain ourselves. We have our houseplants and the conservatory, of course, but those aren't labor intensive and don't take much time to care for. I've always got plenty of reading material and a cold, snowy day is a good day for catching up.

It's great for birdwatching, too! We have a covered platform feeder just outside the family room and I have a perfect view of it from my "couch desk." Today, we had a new visitor. I've seen him on the nearby maple tree, pecking his way up and down the trunk.

The red-bellied woodpecker is a beautiful bird and is even more so, against the snowy landscape.

The red bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) is native to the eastern United States, most often seen in forests and woods. They favor oaks and hickories, as well as pines. They often visit backyard feeders, where they enjoy munching on peanuts, sunflowers seeds, and suet. They love the berries on hawthorn trees, too. We have several of those in our yard, so perhaps those are what attracted them.


fer said...

It is always great to see the little birds visiting. the woodpecker looks beautiful

Christopher Tidrick said...

I think we had one of these visit yesterday, too. I'll have to look closely at my photo, but it looks very similar. Ours was pecking at our redbud branches. Was planning to blog about it later. I'll have to link to your post for more info. Thanks!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Kylee, super shots of the Red-bellied Woodpecker!

Fred Hoffman said...

At our birdfeeder now are mostly non-colorful sparrows, with the occasional scrub jay, dove or mockingbird (also not very colorful). I guess being blessed with the presence of birds with brilliant plumage is God's way of helping you cope through a cold winter. Here in Sacramento, CA today the temperature is in the mid-70's and sunny...which kind of washes out the color.

David P. Offutt - The Gastronomic Gardener said...

I get these all the time at my feeder. I was told years ago this is a red headed woodpecker. A little research and I've been wrong all these years! Thanks for the great pictures!

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