Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Berry Busy Fussy Birds
"Whoa!" said the Cedar Waxwing to the Northern Flicker.
"Hey! Can you not see this branch is occupied???!! And don't you know you are a woodpecker!??"
"Do not loose your feathers over it . . . I just did not see you for all the ripe berries luring me in. Yes! Of course I know I am a woodpecker, and if you were paying attention you would have noticed that I often perch rather than hold onto branches and trunks like some of my cousins. By the way, I saw Ms. Pileated Woodpecker on this Viburnum bush just last week! I am most often seen on the ground stirring up leaves and so forth using my somewhat curved bill to dig for ants and beetles, but I do so enjoy supplementing my diet with berries too!"
"Well, be that way . . . flying off in the middle of a conversation."
"All the more berries for me!"
"What are you looking at?? Do not tell me you too think I look odd perching this way?"
Admittedly I did think the Northern Flicker looked at bit out of its element, when coming in for a landing so near the outraged Cedar Waxwing. It was more humorous than anything except clearly NOT to the Cedar Waxwing. Both are beautiful birds even when they are fussy!
It was really odd to see a Pileated Woodpecker flying into the Viburnum weeks past now and seeing its large beak picking these small black berries.
The berries are long gone now and the lovely ridged leaves are a deep burgundy color adding to the brilliant fall colors on the hills and in the garden. I do not recall the name of this Viburnum but believe it to be a native species.
I hope you might visit 'Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens' to see my new post on native asters. It is a great site and I am honored to be one of the team that shares the importance of native plants and gardening for wildlife. There are many great posts on the site so look around, if you can spare the time and check back often, for a new article is posted daily.
A great OP-ED for Occupy Wallstreet