Monday, April 15, 2013

The Bird

The bird above is the one that got me into birdwatching. It was the bird that made me pick up my binoculars and once I viewed those gorgeous stripes down its back, I was hooked. Birds were suddenly everywhere and I was suddenly paying attention. I'm not a good birder but I'm learning. All because of this bird.

This is a Red Bellied Woodpecker. We have a pair of them that nest in the dead tree along our creek. I heard them one afternoon and grabbed Jeff's old binoculars to see what was making the noise. It was a strange call. I followed the call and found the bird, and was struck dumb. The stripes on its back were beautiful. The red head was such a wonderful contrast. From a distance I hadn't seen half the details. After that, I started watching birds regularly. I bought a new pair of binoculars. I bought bird identification books. All because of this bird.

If you're staring at this bird and wondering about the name, notice the picture at the tail end of the post (tail-end, get it?). The Red Headed Woodpecker has a red head and plain black back. The Red Bellied Woodpecker has a red head, black and white stripes on its back...and a red belly. You can only see it occasionally. Like as it flies away. Remember that most birds were named after being shot and held in hand. A horrible way to name a beautiful bird.

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