Last Wednesday, I saw (in my garden) my first visiting Downy woodpecker (a male) for the year of 2019. He can be seen in the photo atop this entry as well as in the ones that are directly below.
It was wonderful to hear his sound on that cold winter's day."You can distinguish males from females because the adult male has a small red patch on its head (juvenile birds exhibit a larger red patch that later disappears). But in spring their presence is usually betrayed by the sound of their drumming. Although many people assume that they’re hearing the sound of a nest being drilled, that may not be the case, at least early in the season. In February, before the onset of the breeding season, the male woodpecker drums to signal for a mate. Selecting a hollow tree or dead branch with promising resonant qualities, he taps rapidly on the bark with his bill, making a rattle-like drum roll that is startlingly loud and carries for a considerable distance through woodland. Males not only drum in order to attract a mate – throughout the year they will continue to drum to proclaim their territory. Each male has his own drumming sequence and stops to listen to the replies of males nearby..." Read more @ https://bit.ly/2R3DLYA
I'm now wondering since the onset of February near (six days) and since that is the time Downy woodpeckers will do their drumming to attract a mate, if my visitor was grabbing nourishment in order to be up to this "task," for he did go from Ailanthus tree to Ailanthus tree within the courtyard and I could hear his drumming.
Downy woodpeckers are referenced in volumes one and two of my book series, Words In Our Beak.
But in volume three they have their own story within the story. Additionally, another type of woodpecker (a Red-bellied variety is included in volume three of my book series. This variety I've only seen in Central Park and I must confess these past few days have been too cold for me to head that way. This makes me even more thankful that a woodpecker came to me on that cold day.
Purchase Info for Words In Our Beak:
*Volume One: ISBN: 9780996378529
Book Seller Info: http://bit.ly/2AFZDCz
Barnes & Noble On-Line: http://bit.ly/2AAnB26
book culture On Columbus (a bookstore on the UWS in NYC): http://bit.ly/2FsC1Uf
Volume Two: ISBN: 9780996378536
Book Seller Info: http://bit.ly/2q75g8e
Barnes & Noble On-Line: http://bit.ly/2G65m6H
Volume Three: ISBN: 978099637853
Now available on Amazon @ https://amzn.to/2IYkmpA and can be ordered from any place selling books by giving them the title and/or ISBN which is 978099637853