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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hairy and Hairette

We have a family of hairy woodpeckers and their off spring that have been around for many years. It all started probably 15 years ago when one flew into our window and knocked itself out. I picked it up and kept it warm in my hand for probably three hours as I did my work outside with one hand. It finally recovered albeit a little dizzy. After that the family hung around for several years.

The woodpecker in the photo above is no doubt offspring of that injured woodpecker. We put black oil sunflower seeds out for the birds and this woodpecker (Hairy) has pecked a small hole in the railing. We watched him as he went and got a sunflower seed and brought it to the hole and tucked it in the back of the hole. He is keeping a stash for later retrieval which is pretty smart.

When they are out of seeds he will perch on the front of the house and knock away until we bring him some seeds. Yesterday I was shoveling snow out back and the mountain chickadees were all around me as I cleared snow so we could get our gate open. They were persistent and I noticed the feeder out back was empty so I went and filled it up. That is what they wanted and I shoveled the rest of the snow in peace.

So far we have gone through about 80 pounds of sunflower seeds and I have one 40# bag that we have not opened. The birds usually consume around 120# of sunflower seeds a winter season. A costly endeavor but the entertainment is well worth the cost.

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