Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Backyard 1/28--Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

The inevitable question I get when I tell a non-birder about my "hobby" is, "Have you ever seen a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker?" When I tell them of course I have they are either amazed that such a bird really exists, or else suspicious that I'm kidding them back. Often I follow up with, "And there a lot of birds with funnier names than that." My current favorite, which we saw in the Camargue in France is the Zitting Cisticola, which sounds like a kind of suppurating wound to me but is really a plain little brown bird of the marshes that "zits" when it sings.

Since Monday, the beginning of the "historic" blizzard that avoided New Jersey but still managed to dump about 8 inches of snow around here, I've been backyard birding with the help of my cat, who will leap onto the desk whenever she sees something of interest outside (and it is all interesting to a cat).
My & Peeve's view the last few days
While the bird life has been lively and has included our semi-rarities (Pine Warblers & Chipping Sparrow), there hasn't been anything new until this morning when I spotted the aforementioned sapsucker climbing on the low part of a pine tree. No good angle or time for a photo. Coincidentally, it was after last year's first big snowfall that I saw my first sapsucker of 2014. The snow is good for something, I suppose.

For the 3 days I've listed 22 species in the backyard or flying over the house--not bad for a forced mid-winter "Big Sit" but I'm hoping to actually get outside tomorrow to find something that isn't attracted to a feeder.

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