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.
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.
Water levels in the large pond at Magnolia Cemetery are controlled with this screw mechanism connected to a gate that allows water to drain off into the marsh. I’ve often seen Belted Kingfishers that work the pond for food use it as a perch.
The Belted Kingfisher’s loud rattling call often helps you locate one, and I had watched one make several zippy trips across the pond without even getting to lift my camera. I took these from the car as we were leaving.
I got a little closer before another car came and captured this head on view showing off the Kingfisher’s top knot.
I last photographed a Yellow-billed Cuckoo about two years ago. I spotted one last week and recognized him in flight immediately due to his long, thin body.
They prefer woodland and the trees he found most appealing were shiny with highlighted leaves behind him.
He eventually moved to the other side of the path so the sun was shining on him, but didn’t quite get his head out into the light.
He watched patiently presumably for food, often looking up above him, but I didn’t see him even try to catch anything. After a couple minutes in this spot he moved higher and deeper into the tree line.
With amazing flying skill the Belted Kingfisher can hover continuously while eyeing the water below for a fish. I watched this one through two cycles of hover and dive; he didn’t enter the water either time.