May 18th, 2016

Snooch Smiley

Woodpecker fledglings!

For the past few weeks, there has been a steadily-growing racket of scolding coming from the L-field every time I walk by. It was too low-toned to be a squirrel, and too high in the air to be a ground rodent. Yesterday, I finally figured out what was going on.

There is a dead tree just inside the L-field, up by the fence closest to where I walk to feed the girl goats. A couple dozen feet up the trunk is a big hole. Right below that hole, flapping madly and scolding for all it was worth, was a fledgling woodpecker. I kept an eye on the tree while doing chores, and saw the bird make it back inside the hole. Later, one of the parents came by to feed the noisy hole. I saw two heads (and heard the duet of scolding change to abrupt solos at various points) so I'm pretty confident that we have a pair of new birds this year.

This episode of avian adventure continues to reinforce my desire to not cut down dead trees unless they are directly threatening the house or the power lines. This tree is vaguely menacing the hay barn, but is neither tipped in that direction nor right next to it. The two dead trees in the goat yard that haven't fallen down yet are still hosting bats and feeding woodpeckers. (The dead tree that fell last year in the goat yard is now a jungle gym for the goats.)