A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.



Monday, August 18, 2014

Hairy Woodpecker Photos & Crazy Toes

I was outside most of the day Sunday removing two large Mugo Pines (aka Scrub Pine or Mountain Pine) from the front yard.  More on that in another post!  While I was out there a hairy woodpecker stopped in to visit. 
He was not afraid of me one bit, even though I looked mighty and wielded a shovel/pick axe/pry bar.  The hairy and downy woodpeckers that frequent the homestead are quite bold and not skittish around people.  The large Pileated Woodpeckers?  They're another story.  This one allowed me to get pretty close and snap some nice photos. 
If you look closely in this photo you can see the unusual toes of the woodpecker.  Woodpecker toes and feet have evolved specifically for arboreal life scampering around in and clinging to trees.  Woodpeckers have two toes facing forward and two toes facing backwards, this is known as having zygodactyl feet. 
This hairy woodpecker stuck around for a while and likely decided that my grunting and swearing while digging out the mugo pine stumps was oft-putting, and after a few minutes, flew off.  Sorry my friend, I apologize for the colorful language. 

What kind of feeders to we use to feed our feathered friends? We learned about the Droll Yankees brand of bird feeders from an Audubon Society presentation a few years ago and are hooked on their bird feeders now.  They're much sturdier than others we've had and come with a lifetime warranty.  I've heard numerous unsolicited testimonials from people who've shipped 10 or 15 year old feeders to them and gotten new back ones in the mail, no questions asked. We use the Droll Yankee Nyjer Seed Feeder and the Tube Feeder for sunflower seeds and love them (but probably not as much as the birds). 

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