I really like woodpeckers.
I think they’re pretty amazing and last year I saw a Northern Yellow-Shafted Flicker come thru our backyard. I hadn’t seen him since and worried a bit because the Starlings are such pests in this area. We actually help control the Starlings every winter by taking out at least 40-50 of them via airgun. I know that may sound cruel, but they’re considered an invasive species.
Helping to cull a small flock a year helps woodpeckers, like the Flicker, nest peacefully and raise a few chicks without fear or competition of a Starling coming thru and kicking the babies out of the nest or killing the mother and babies altogether.
While they aren’t endangered their populations are declining.
Here’s the cellphone picture I managed to snap of him:
He must’ve been hungry because this woodpecker prefers bugs and ants to suet and seeds. He’s mainly a ground feeder, but as we had about 5″ of snow still he must’ve been having a hard time finding bugs.
And here’s a better one from the Cornell Lab of Orinthology Click the link to learn more!
If you fancy birds take a look over at Cornell’s website.
And if you’re even more into birds you can join Project FeederWatch and help track winter birds at your own feeder. There’s a small annual fee of $15 USD but if you appreciate conservation of any kind this a fun activity to do and something that even kids can help out with!