Weather at Bedford, Hanscom Field, MA - via NOAA's National Weather Service

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I read somewhere that you can tell the difference between a downy woodpecker and a hairy woodpecker by the sound they make when pecking.  If the tapping is so fast you cannot count the taps, then it is a downy - a hairy taps slowly enough that you can count the taps.  I don't know if that is true or not, but I also learned (from an online video that of course I cannot find now) that the downy's beak is proportionately much shorter in comparison to its head, than the hairy's.  The links I've given above point this out as well.
I heard several woodpeckers this morning, but they were hard to find in the trees, even without leaves yet.  Finally I got a good view of a female downy (no red) up on a dead oak branch.  She was tapping away, and I couldn't keep up.  She was practically hugging the limb with her feet, and I could see, with binoculars, her tail working to help hold her in position.  The bark was still on the branch where she was, but it was clearly coming loose - I could hear different sounds as she tapped in different spots up and down and around that branch.  I watched her for quite a while, until a blue jay, perhaps annoyed by the tapping(?), swooped down and caused her to fly to another spot.

Here's a pic of a downy I saw last weekend and snapped with my phone camera.

None of the birds I saw this morning were in a good position to be photographed, but here are a couple of shots that I took of scenes that looked particularly beautiful on this bright, sunny morning.

 clover with dew

trees, moss & puddle

1 comment:

Thanks for being patient - I don't moderate comments every day, but I will get to it!