Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Red-headed Woodpeckers and My Sister

I have a sister that has red hair. She has never liked her locks, because it was the type that was hard to manage. It was very curly, so brushing it was a dangerous proposition. She is the youngest of 4 kids and got picked on alot growing up, mainly because of her hair, which was a weakness she exposed. She developed quite a temper stereotypical of carrot tops, and I exploited it alot, just to see her rage. It was a bit of a sport for me, being the older sister, and I felt it was my duty to toughen the kid up, and I think I did. Looking at my woodpecker photos reminded me of her.

The Red-headed Woodpecker attacks other birds to keep them out of its territory, and is also known to remove the eggs of other species from nests and nest boxes, destroy nests, and even to enter duck-nesting boxes and puncture the duck eggs.

(I bet, as a kid, lil sis would have loved to be an only child.)

Because of its striking red head and white breast, this bird has historically been called patriotic bird, flag bird, half-a-shirt, white shirt, shirt-tail bird, and jelly coat. It has also been called redhead and tricolored woodpecker.

(We did call her many names, but to share them here would be just wrong, because I am an adult now, although the horns on my head are trying to poke out.)

Stores acorns, beech nuts and grasshoppers wedged in bark crevices, tree cavities, fence post cracks, in barns, between wood roof shingles and various other nooks and crannies. Also feeds on berries.

(Food hoarding is a shared characteristic of the woodpecker and my sister. She hid all kinds of junk food under her bed.)

Red-headed woodpeckers are less likely to drill for food than other woodpeckers. Instead, they fly down to the ground to capture insects or they catch prey from the air.

(My sister was not an athlete, although she tried. Instead, she was the prey/victim.)

My sister didn't deserve the teasing we all gave her, but kids will be kids, and I'm sure it made her a stronger person in her adult years. (You're welcome little sister!)


McGone said...

Wow, those are really awesome. Where did you find them?

HANNIBAL said...

Oh, I guess I didn't mention where this was...Channahon Park on a back trail. It seems I found THE hot spot there, because all of my shots lately have been from the exact same spot.
Thanks McGone!

Sandpiper said...

Fantastic shot! I used have these birds pecking at a metal pipe that extended from my fireplace chimney when I lived in Charleston, SC. The birds would perch up there and peck at the metal, and the noise echoed throughout the house. It sounded like a little kid banging on the pots and pans. ;-)

It's About the Journey said...

These images of the red headed woodpecker are special and you got to watch and photograph it. Great Job.
Pete from It's about the Journey

Craig said...

Hey Hannibal, I really like the shots. Thanks for sharing!