It has been a tough winter around here. Oh sure, I suppose compared to those living under the threat of a polar vortex, that may sound wimpy. But the snow came earlier, heavier and has lasted longer than I remember during our 20 years living here in BC. Finally, this week, melting has begun. At last, the 2-foot high covering on my roof is shrinking.
I’m hearing more bird songs—chickadees calling in their spring voices, juncos trilling, robins chuckling… and a couple of woodpecker species are becoming more active.
Northern Flickers are around all year, but lately they’ve begun drumming on metal chimneys to loudly announce their presence to other flickers (it’s a territorial thing, as well as the way to attract a mate).
Flickers might enjoy the noise, but residents of the houses they choose…not so much. However, these birds eagerly dine on ants, so they’re welcome in my yard.
Another woodpecker, the Pileated, is a large black bird with black and white facial markings and a red crest. This one’s loud voice echoes around the neighborhood, and I often see it hammering on utility poles. While they may not find much of their favorite food—carpenter ants—on those treated wooden poles, the noise resonates nicely as a communication tool. What a terrific low-tech ‘social media’ device!