Hairy, But Not Scary!

Baldwin's Birds


On this miserable snowbound day, which isn’t at all cheery at the moment, but as the day is drawing to an end, it is starting to look a bit more like things are starting to look up! At least I can do that now without getting an eyeful of snow and so can the birds, as they continue to come in to my feeders, or to gather the seed scattered on the ground. I am still getting quite a variety of them including a couple of Crows and some Starlings, with their iridescent plumage still in evidence. Of course, these birds, being of a larger variety are not able to use the suspended feeders, so gravitate to ground feeding or using my larger feeders, as do the Pigeons, Doves, Bluejays and Cardinals, who feed at either place depending on what appears to be available for them to eat. Our timid Redwing Blackbird partakes when it plucks up enough courage, but never lingers in one place for very long, as opposed to our two types of Woodpecker, the “diminutive” Downy and the ‘huge” Hairy, who enjoy their feeding suspended above the rest and are never in too much of a rush! Both types seem to relish their visits and, at times, seem almost to be asleep, as they cling to whatever hanging feeder they are on, and remain motionless for quite long intervals. Of course, I don’t think that they actually drift off to sleep ,but are keeping a vigilant look out for any unwanted intruders wishing to do them and the other birds harm. Fortunately this is a very, very occasional occurrence, so is a very safe spot for them all.

If you are wondering about my cryptic title for this article I am referring to my picture of a Hairy Male (Aren’t we all!?) Woodpecker, giving a close-up view of its face, which, if the paper’s version is clear enough, shows how the feathers surrounding the base of the beak look to be quite hair-like in looks and structure. These fine facial feathers, however, do not give it its name, which comes from the long thread-like white feathers that run down the middle of its black back. This fact I have just “Googled” so it must be true, mustn’t it?! (tongue in cheek!). It is certainly something I shall be looking out for the next chance that I get. Perhaps you may be lucky enough to see it too, if you haven’t done so already. Stay safe and well.


John Baldwin



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here