Friday, April 28, 2006

Red Bellied Woodpeckers

This one of many woodpeckers living in our yard and surrounding acreage. I, literally, cannot walk out of the house without seeing a Red Bellied Woodpecker (like the picture to the right), Downy, or a Red Headed Woodpecker. This could be good news or bad depending on how you view it. The bad news is that our trees are obviously loaded with insects. The good news would be that woodpeckers eat enormous quantities of wood beetles and such.

Other than the plentiful food in the super old pecan trees (there is an older, non producing pecan orchard next to the house and a dying tree in the front yard), I cannot imagine any other reason for the abundance. We encourage some of my favorite birds by feeding through the winter and providing nesting boxes, but I have never done anything for the woodpeckers. We don't use herbicides or pesticides except for some organic solutions for emergencies in my garden. Perhaps they can smell the acrid odor as I can and have flown from all my neighbors who use the poison like it was water. One neighbor, even hired a helicopter to kill the weeds and insects in his small pine plantation.

This picture was taken while sitting on one of my porch swings on the front porch. I will take pictures of the more spectacular red headed woodpecker in the next day or two.

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