by David Cohen
In February, Forest Hills Connection posted photos I took in Huntley Meadows Park, in Alexandria, Virginia. Among them was a red-headed woodpecker.
Spring has brought the resonant, rhythmic rapping of woodpeckers to our own Forest Hills. Here are five varieties, all photographed in the neighborhood in the past two months.
(All photos © David Cohen, davidcohenphotodc.com)
The Bird Watcher’s Bible from National Geographic estimates there are roughly 215 species of woodpeckers through most of the world. Most are tree climbers, with strong legs and claws to navigate the bark, a strong tail to serve as a support, and a powerful bill and long tongue to probe for insects and insect larvae.
According to allaboutbirds.org, the northern flicker often prefers the ground to trees, and feasts in the grasses on beetles and ants. The yellow-bellied sapsucker represents still another variation: It punches holes through the bark of a tree to – you guessed it – drink the sap. The trees grow over the holes, just as they do when people tap maples for their syrup.
This video expands on what David mentions above:
We also like this video about the yellow-bellied sapsucker: