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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Psycho Bird

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, female has white chin and throat

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male at nest hole. The male has a red chin and throat.

We've had Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers nesting in our woods for the last 4 years. There are some interesting thibgs about Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. There's no big bright yellow belly, just a buffy or pale yellow wash on underparts. They make the wildest noise. One of their main squeal-like calls sounds like the dramatic music from the shower scene in the movie Psycho. If you've ever seen Psycho, you know what we mean.
They drill horizontal lines of holes in trees and drink the sap that flows into the holes. Other birds may drink the sap or eat insects attracted to the sap. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, drink the sap and may time their spring migration to coincide with sapsucker migration, thereby availing themselves of the sap food resource, before nectar producing flowers are in bloom.

1 comment:

The Boisverts said...

Have had one here 2 years in a row, come spring. Have some photos posted on our family blog, and just today got a shot of a young one, pretty small. The adults do sound pretty psycho... your description made me chuckle!