Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are named for their behavior of drilling small holes in trees then drinking the sap that runs into the wells. They get most of their food that way but also feed on insects they find under tree bark.
I’ve seen them peck at bark, mostly on the rough-barked trees and was surprised to see this one bobbing into a tree cavity. He was just about disappearing from my view as he reached in.
I didn’t see what, if anything, the Sapsucker was finding, but he kept at it for longer than I watched.
The Great Blue Herons are the most affectionate of the wading birds I have observed as they prepare for having a family. They often take time to nuzzle, bird-style, between nest material gathering runs.
It’s not yet spring, but Tulip Magnolias started blooming throughout the greater Charleston, SC area at the end of January.
We had a few days in the high 70s (around 25 C) last week and the blossoms popped out like crazy.
The daytime temperatures have since dropped back to more seasonable mid 60s (15C). I’d like to think we’re past having an overnight freeze, which would turn these beauties into black disappointment. However, two years ago we had a hard frost at the end of March so I won’t hold my breath.
The final glow of the sun shining on the trees at the far side of the pond cast an orange glow on the water. The Great Blue Herons were still making trips into the woods to get nest building materials.
Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers visually blend into the surface of the rough-barked trees. These two images were taken in different places over a month apart.
I heard the tat-tat-tat of pecking at the bark first, then watched for the flash of red to help me spot them. Sapsuckers tend to spiral around the tree looking for food, sometimes at a pretty fast pace leaving the photographer to guess where they will pop back around.
Way at the back of the pond, under an overhang of trees a young Alligator assumed a pose I more often associate with sun bathing. We’ve had some warm days, but it is still winter and the water remains cold.
In my last post, Snowy Egret, Blue Water, I mentioned that the Snowy Egrets can be feisty. This action took place in the “Spoonie Tree,” so named because the Roseate Spoonbills tend to gather there as a second Snowy Egret came in for a landing.
Even though their perches were several feet apart, the incoming Snowy Egret was considered an interloper.
He who was there first drove the second egret off.
After the action was over the Roseate Spoonbill had a quick squawk, but otherwise didn’t move.