Sunday, August 16, 2009

Opportunist Ruby-throated Hummingbird Indignant Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

While picking blueberries last week, I saw a hummer hanging out in a nearby crabapple that is dropping its upper leaves. This area was once dominated by large White Pines. The acidic soil is great for blueberries, but maybe a bit too acidic for the Crabapple volunteer that tends to like slightly acidic soil. She is a lovely focal point in the spring all abloom. Maybe one of the former owners might have planted it many years ago, as the pines were quite big... their growth over the years would have caused the Crabapple to go dormant, or then perhaps it was a seed dropped by birds from one of my Crabapples now standing in a small orchard I planted twenty years ago to the north side of the barn studio. In any case the Crabapple is struggling and a favored spot for woodpeckers, especially this female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker seen above. The sapsucker is interested in the sweet sap in the tree and attracting a hummer to check out its drilling skills. Actually the hummer is very interested in what is in those holes too, as I have seen it visit often and the sapsucker really does not take lightly this little guy coming into its territory and sipping from his hard won taps. I go back to picking blueberries, but continue to hear the drumming drilling sounds along with the hummers humming and speeding flybys. I chuckled to myself when thinking ... 'now this is some hummingbird feeder'. If you click on the photos you can better see the goings on.
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