This gorgeous young male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker came through our yard this past Wednesday:
This guy hasn't got the brilliant clean red throat and cap that adult males have, and I think he's missing a black mark on his chest as well, but young or not, this is one handsome bird! I love those scalloped feathers on his chest, and yeah, his belly is kind of yellow... I guess.
Like so many other birds right now, this fellow was here for the Red Cedar's fruit!
Well, add another bird to the list. A Northern Flicker came by to eat these berry-like cones last year, so this Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is the second woodpecker I've seen eating from this Red Cedar. Still, it seems a strange thing for a woodpecker to do! Ah well! Who's going to tell this guy that he should be hammering tree trunks instead of munching berries?
That's right. Eat away!
I had way too much fun admiring this bird. I love the pattern on his back and wings:
And he looked cool in a more typically woodpecker-ish pose as well: (Look, a tiny woodpecker tongue!)
Those grappling-hook feet sure do their job well:
There were two other woodpecker species in these trees at the same time as this Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, but neither of them seemed interested in the cones. A Red-bellied Woodpecker hopped around outside of my camera's reach, and a female Downy Woodpecker (positively petite compared to the other woodpeckers) rested behind a branch:
She came out to forage as well, but she was after tidbits (insects? seeds other birds have secreted away?) hidden in the Red Cedar's bark:
And while not a woodpecker (but similar at least in those large clinging feet), this drowsy White-breasted Nuthatch was also hanging around, all puffed up against the cold:
I'm veering slightly off-theme again now, because I have one other yard bird to share. Yesterday, a curious little Carolina Wren apparently decided to see what all the titmouses were doing at our window feeder, and it ended up exploring the sill:
I have read that Carolina Wrens do sometimes eat sunflower seeds, but this bird either wasn't interested or couldn't quite figure out the source. It wasn't for lack of exploring, though!
You're quite the acrobat, little bird. Also, adorable:
I didn't see any Carolina Wrens in our yard all summer, but a couple of these guys have been hanging out here recently, singing their super loud songs and just basically being awesome. I certainly enjoy having them around, along with the woodpeckers and all the other cool avian visitors that stop by in the fall. :)