Thursday, April 9, 2009

Who has been Lapping the Sap?!

I swear this isn't a blog on birds. Birds just keep coming up this spring!

While sitting in my living room  staring out the front window, I noticed what I thought was a Hairy Woodpecker working on the maple tree out front. Why was he spending so much time checking out that trunk? Why was I spending so much time watching him?

I picked up the binoculars to get a better look. That's not a run of the mill woodpecker, it's a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker! First time I've seen one of those here. April is the month they migrate through Iowa on their way to the upper Great Lakes area and Canada to spend the summer breeding and doing what they do.

The bird was working on drilling holes into the Maple tree to release the sap. Notice the picture I took of our tree. The sapsucker drills holes in a neat line about halfway up the tree. The tree truck is wet with sap. Many other birds were taking advantage of the sap flow. There were lots of sparrows, a nuthatch or two, starlings and a couple cardinals visiting that tree today. 

Later in the afternoon I noticed TWO yellow-bellied sapsuckers. A male and a female. Another story with a romantic ending!

Have a Great Day!
Prairie Clover

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