Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Winter...unofficially

Male Downy Woodpecker

Well it may not be the solstice yet but it's now winter. A good old blizzard with lots of snow brought it on fast and has us drifted in today. It usually seems that once we get frigid temps and a good snow covering, we're in it for the long haul.

As I sit in the studio pondering some scheduling changes I have to make because of the weather, I'm distracted in a fun way by the birds outside contending with the new landscape. One familiar favorite is the Downy Woodpecker; they seem to be the most plentiful and tolerant of people approaching them.

Downys look just like Hairy Woodpeckers, except in miniature (about a 3" difference). The only way to delineate the sexes is by the male's splash of red on the backs of their heads (same for Hairys).

Female Downy Woodpecker

I had a male and female pose for me this morning so I'll post them here.

I'm mustering up the will to crank up the snow blower and attack our hillside 200 foot driveway...but think the wind needs to die back some yet before I do. Guess there are sacrifices for living out in the middle of the tallgrass - especially in the winter! But, hey, I think I'll just stay distracted with woodpeckers for the time being!

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