Last Wednesday, Heidi Ware came to TVCS (Village Charter School) at lunch. We went across the street to the Morris Hill Cemetery. We saw 10+ Northern Flickers, 7 Mourning Doves,10+ Canada Geese, and 4 Red-Breasted Nuthatch.
We stood under a tree, and used Heidi's phone to send out the call of the nuthatch. After the call was sent, 4 nuthatches came down from the top of the tree. In the first place, we found the nuthatches by listening as we walked. They have quite distinctive and loud calls for tiny birds, but they are small and moved around quickly in the crowns of tall conifers. We did not see them until we stopped walking and Heidi's recording called them down toward us. Then four agitated little birds, moved closer and closer to us looking for the source of their sound. When they calmed down and settled back to feeding, we watched them work up and down the branches pecking for food, maybe insects, under the bark.
But a caution from Heidi: she would not call the birds over and over at the same tree and she would not call the birds on a cold day when they were on the edge of survival. The disturbance stops them from feeding for a time and food is critical for survival, especially in winter. Heidi would also not use the call recording near nesting birds.
Another discovery were the distinctive drilling patterns of the red-naped sapsucker. Heidi told us that when we see horizontal rows of holes about the size of a 3 millimeter drill bit in the bark of a conifer trunk, we are looking at the work of a sapsucker - a woodpecker like bird. The bird is feeding on sap and insects that might be caught in the sap. We won't see this bird here in December though. It is only a summer visitor.
Thank you Heidi. Signing out: Brysan, Dade, Alyssa, Logan, Betty and Ethan