Friday, March 31, 2006

Tunk Tunk Tunk

I was walking home from the bus this afternoon when I heard a, "tunk tunk tunk", coming from somewhere nearby. I looked over at the house I was passing, but no one seemed to be home. I heard the "tunk tunk tunk" again and it sounded vaguely like someone with a mallet thumping a wet log. I realized the "tunk"-ing was coming from overhead and looked up. Way up at the top of the telephone pole I was passing, I caught a darting movement. I looked closer and realized that it was a woodpecker!

I have seen pileated woodpeckers while hiking locally, but they were much bigger than the one I was looking at. I got my camera out and took some pictures. I was certainly glad to have the 16x (digital) zoom on my Canon because there wasn't any way that I was going to get any closer to the bird to properly identify it.

When I got home, I compared my photo with some online resources and figured out that I was most likely looking at a Northern Flicker, and likely a male of the red shafted sub-species.

Anyhow, I'm not a bird-watcher (serious or even occasional), but it was definitely fun trying to figure out what it was that I was looking at and discovering that there is a wealth of information on-line if you want to read through it all. When the kids are older, maybe we'll get into bird-watching.


LarryandJean said...

David Knott says that he has woodpeckers that beat on the edge of the metal roof to "get their message out". It is possible that was what your flicker was doing as well.


Allan said...

It looks like it's tapping on the tin at the top of pole isn't it? But that would have been more of a metallic banging. There's a hole in the wood just below the top. It seemed like it was up there grubbing for insects in the rotten wood.

Sunny said...

That so cool. I'm not a bird watcher either but it could be a really neat hobby.