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Sapsuckers and Song Sparrows

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Every single yellow-bellied sapsucker that comes to our yard tries immediately to kill itself on my huge studio windows. I do not know why. Fortunately I have crop netting stretched on a frame over the glass, and the sapsuckers simply bounce off the netting unharmed. Before we put the netting up, if there was a sapsucker in the yard, it almost always succeeded in killing itself on the window. Very upsetting.

 Now I have the slightly harrowing pleasure of watching them try and fail.
Ha. Ha. Ha. 

This beautiful young female photographed Dec. 2, no exception. Boing, bounce, nice try! She lives to drill another birch.

Maybe the best bird news of the autumn was the return of the prodigal Luke on October 12, 2013. He showed up with a normally colored song sparrow, just like last year, when he appeared the day before the Big Sit on Columbus Day weekend 2012. He stayed into April, and disappeared after an apparently unsuccessful breeding attempt. I found his mate emaciated and dead, huddled into the corner of the house, and then Lucas left. I missed him all summer. But when he showed up in October,
I was sooo thrilled to see him again. 

Every time I come out of the house he chimps at me and flutters around as if to greet me. He's hard to miss in the weeds. If I have a visitor I can almost always go out and find Lucas just by talking to him. He pops up and chimps and flutters for me. I talk to him and tell him how pretty he is. 

My beautiful, my one and only Lucas the leucistic song sparrow.  You do get attached.


Love it that you have a friendship with Lucas the leucistic song sparrow. And I learned a new word today: leucistic. Thanks for the great story (laughed about your comment about watching the sapsuckers trying to kill themselves and fail!)and for the vocabulary lesson.

Netting. Huh. A bird glanced off my door a week ago, and shortly after I started noticing a freaky bird on the feeder that Ain't Right. Could be there's no connection, but Mrs. Funky Finch, as I call her, seems to be doing fine, even though her tail quirks to the left and her left wing shoots out spasmodically. If she did get hit in the head, it got the part that runs away from other birds. I've seen her get plumb landed on by birds trying for her perch, and she doesn't budge. She appears to be a survivor.

I saw you had posted something which I knew would draw my attention so I made myself a cup of coffee before I sat down to read it. Very interesting,charming and worth more than one read through.

Beautiful, brilliant cardinal eating at our feeder in the snow as I write this. It does seem like there are fewer cardinals. Our Hemlocks use to be full of them and now it's an occasional sighting. We live in Newark, close to Columbus.

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