Thursday, March 25, 2010

An Irritating But Lovable Hammerhead

Most of us, I believe, l have a dear family member who drives us batty in some way. And despite their irritating or daffy behavior we love them all the same. And so it is with us suburban bird feeders when it comes to these jokers: male Red Bellied Woodpeckers. It is springtime. It is courtship time. It is time for male RBWs everywhere to attach themselves to rain gutters, chimney caps, or whatever metal flashings are available and beat the heck out of them with those stout bills. BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG. Morning, noon, and afternoon. The din certainly leaves a vivid impression, if not on the females and rivals, then definitely on the homeowner-- and his many neighbors-- many of whom have their own demented avian hammerhead wrecking their gutters. There are days in the spring when I swear there is a jackammerer convention on our street, so many crazy birds are "calling." But we who put out the suet still have a warm place in our hearts for the colorful and otherwise gentle RBWs. Soon, perhaps, it will be relatively quiet in the neighborhood.

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