Bay Journal

On the Wing

Drum roll, please: Red-bellied woodpeckers alert us to start of spring

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With all of the allure of a sodden newspaper, the day was cold, gray and damp, leaving me indoors and ill-tempered. It had felt like 4 p.m. all day, enervating and dull. Brits might reach for the tea and biscuits. For me, it was time to pull out the spotting scope.

At first glance, I could see a bird unceremoniously spraying millet seed out of one of the feeders. Eventually, the bird found a black oil sunflower seed in the mix and darted off to the nearby redbud. There it wedged the seed into a crevice, gave it a couple of good whacks with its bill, then gobbled down the meat within. A moment later it was off to repeat the cycle. The mourning doves below the feeder didn’t mind; they were enjoying all that spilled millet.

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About On the Wing

Observing the birds of our region brings perspective about their lives, and ours.

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