Woodpecker vs Window

Chances are, you’ve been sitting quietly at your kitchen table or lounging on your living room couch and heard a loud thump at your sliding glass door or living room window. Upon inspection, you noticed a bird sprawled out on your deck or lawn. Or, the bird may have been standing there below the door or window motionless, dazed and confused. The chances of this happening are greatly increased if you have a bird feeder in your yard. Even so,Read more

Red Wolves and Sap-sucking Woodpeckers

Red wolves #1803 and #2062 seem to be getting along well. They’re frequently seen together with, so far, no observed conflicts. With mating season (Feb.) fast approaching, this behavior is promising. While standing and watching the wolves I noticed a cat-like meow and a gentle tap, tap, tap coming from high up in the trees inside the wolf enclosure, a yellow-bellied sapsucker at work. These rather small sized woodpeckers drill evenly spaced wells into the bark of trees. The wellsRead more

Shadowy Silhouttes, Sap-sucking Arrivals, and a Murder

While walking through the Dinosaur Trail this past Tuesday (10/11), I noticed several dark spots on a leaf of one of our banana trees. On closer inspection I could see that what I was looking at were the shadows of three creatures which were on the opposite side of the leaf. The sun shining through the leaf created silhouettes of two tree frogs and an insect. Turning the leaf over confirmed two green tree frogs and a stink bug. TheRead more


While walking through Explore the Wild I heard the cat-like call of a yellow-bellied sapsucker to my right. A closer look revealed two sapsuckers in a holly tree picking and eating the red berries of the small tree, a good opportunity to get a few photos.     The two sapsuckers went back and forth from the trunk to hanging on branches to harvest the fruit of the holly. Here’s a few shots of the birds, both males.    Read more

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Time

  Yellow-bellied sapsuckers are woodpeckers. Unlike red-bellied, downy, hairy, and red-headed woodpeckers they’re not year round residents in our area. They typically arrive in the Piedmont in October and depart by April when they head north or retreat back into our mountains to nest. You might see one or two a bit earlier or later than October or April, but those individuals are the exception. Sapsuckers drill small, neatly aligned holes or wells into the bark of trees. The holesRead more

The Feeders

OK, in the past few weeks we’ve had days with snow, ice, and some very cold temperatures. We’ve also had a solid week, seven days, with temps in the sixties and seventies. And now, it’s chilling down again. Not long ago the local birds were singing a happy tune. Now it seems all they care about is putting on fat, the bird feeders in Catch the Wind are busy! Here’s just some of the birds looking to put on weightRead more

And the sap is flowing!

On Tuesday of this week I noticed a large wet area on the trunk of a Carolina Maple in Catch the Wind. That could only mean one thing, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker had been at work. This is the same maple that I mention each year around this time. It seems to be a favorite of our visiting sapsuckers and it’s easy to observe (it’s right next to the path). I’ve been keeping a casual eye on this tree but hadn’t seenRead more

The Hollies

Last week I wrote about a small flock of Cedar Waxwings flying around the Outdoor Exhibit area of the Museum searching for berries. That’s what waxwings do. They’re nomadic and social. In winter you can expect to see flocks of these gentle birds wheeling across the countryside looking for fruit. You may not see them as often as you’d like (they are very attractive birds and worth your attention) but if you have a fruiting tree or vine nearby andRead more

Sap Sucking Woodpecker

You may have read about Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers here before. Type in sapsucker in the search box on the top right and you’ll see many posts which contain the word sapsucker (<- that’s just one). Here’s two – more. Why do I mention sapsucker so often? Read on (and read the three links above too). Sapsuckers are winter visitors here in the Piedmont of North Carolina. We start seeing them in October and most are gone by April. They go about their business quietly,Read more

Cold Front Brings in More Birds

After reporting that Myrtle Warblers (A.K.A. Yellow-rumped Warblers and Butter Butts) had had been seen on October 6, many more have arrived. A truck load of them must have come in on the night of November 1-2, as there were plenty around the following day. Although the first bird that I saw on the morning of November 2nd as I pulled the Club Car into its parking spot down in Explore the Wild was a Dark-eyed Junco (first one ofRead more