Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Woodpecker Wednesday

Pik!

Hark! The call-note of Picoides pubescens! (I promise that if you ever go birding with me, I will never say "Hark," and will not use Latin names, because I don't know many off-hand. I do know the name for Hoopoe, because who who has taken an ornithology course could ever forget Upupa epops? But they don't occur here, so not to worry.)

Except for perhaps the Northern Flicker, the Downy Woodpecker is the most commonly seen woodpecker in the Lower Mainland.


Female.

The Pacific race (one of at least four) differs from eastern birds in having relatively little white-spotting on the wings, and a somewhat grey-brown breast.


Male.



Moribund birches.
There are extensive paper birch and hybrid birch woodlots in Richmond, and a high percentage of the trees are infected by xylem-clogging fungi carried by wood-boring beetles. Makes for ugly forests, but plenty of dining and housing opportunities for Downy Woodpeckers, cavity nesters that prefer deciduous trees.

A young bird ineffectively practising The Art of not Being Seen in our back yard last summer.

(I would like to see a Hoopoe though.)

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