Sunday, December 28, 2014

An Illustrated Life List: Hairy Woodpecker


Sara, the kids, and I took an after dark walk at Silverwood Park last week.  No particular reason, other than to get outside and enjoy some unusually warm weather.  Of course, in the the back of my mind I had a few subsidiary reasons; first among them was to see an owl.  Maybe even something on the unusual side like a Saw-whet Owl, or a Long-eared Owl, or very out of range Boreal Owl. . . ok, maybe not.  But I was definitely looking for something in the Strigidae family.

Which I didn't find.  But I did run into something unexpected.  A Hairy Woodpecker, Picoides villosus in a Bluebird house.  I saw it because I was going to open up the house to look for mice, who often inhabit bird houses that aren't closed up for the winter.  My youngest daughter has been very interested in mice recently, even writing a report or two at school, so I thought it would be a nice supplement to her school work to see a wild mouse.  But before I even touched the house, a Hairy Woodpecker poked it's head out.  I was using my phone as a light (to see the anticipated mice better), so I got a pretty good look.  Naomi and Adele were right behind me, so they got a pretty good look too.  The woodpecker looked uncertain so I turned the light off to minimize our disturbance.  I called Sara over, but she declined, preferring to let the woodpecker go back to sleep.  Good choice!



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