March 26, 2007

Phone call away

83 yellow-bellied sapsucker
(total on this date in 2006: 72)

I should try to think of a nicer metaphor, but today I carried out an avian hit. My friend Donna knows my list lacks the sapsucker, so she called me when a pair that hangs around her backyard every spring returned.

Confirming my target later that day, I stopped by and after a few minutes' wait the male showed up to check holes it had drilled (see typical lines of holes here).

Poking around the web for interesting sapsucker facts to disguise a disturbing trend toward content-free LBY posts, I was reminded that the yellow-bellied sapsucker is half joke-half bird. From Wikipedia: "Apparently because the name sounds amusing, yellow-bellied sapsucker is sometimes used as a comic, generic term for an unusual animal."

And from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: "most non-birders believe that the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is a fictitious bird created just for the humorous name." The real thing will be in Donna's backyard for a few more weeks, or refer to this range map.


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