Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Woody's Appearance



 Mr. Lime has long had a contentious relationship with the squirrels in our yard.  The birds are a different story.  He has built bird feeders and checked into which kinds of seeds attract which birds.  This winter he added a couple of suet feeders dangling from the main feeder.  They have attracted several woodpeckers, which have been especially fun to see a bit closer as the feeder is just outside out living room window.  With so many snow days recently I've had time to play with Boom-boom.  I hit the jackpot this week and caught three different species in one morning.  Here is a female Red-bellied Woodpecker.  She's about the size of a hefty cardinal.
 Next up we have a male Downy Woodpecker.  When I was taking the pictures they were flitting around so quickly I thought this was the same bird as the one above.  It wasn't until I got the pictures off the camera that I was able to see it was a different species and gender.  Sorry, fellow.





Here's another shot of the Downy Woodpecker that shows the markings more clearly.  Mr. Lime tells me identifying these as different from the Hairy Woodpecker is a challenged as the markings are so similar but the main thing is the beak length.  Apparently Hairy Woodpeckers have beaks as long as their heads.  I'll refrain from comments correlating beaks and other bits. You may thank me later.




Here is the bird I never imagined I'd be able to capture with Boom-boom, the Pileated Woodpecker.  This is a female.  We've heard them in the neighborhood for years and every once in a  great while we have a fleeting glimpse of one as it flits through the trees.  They are shy creatures.  Since we put up the suet feeders the Pileateds have dared to come closer to the house.  I was thoroughly excited when this girl clung to the suet feeder for a good long time so I could play paparazzi.

And now, gentle reader I shall share a story from about 8 years ago, which was shared way back then on a long since defunct blog I shared with another blogger.  I figure it's unlikely any of you have read that.

One weekend, since there was much sickness in the house, we watched a lot of movies. During one movie scene a particular character referred to another one as a "pecker." The entire family, save Isaac giggled. Not wanting to miss any of the humor, my then 10 year old son asked what was so funny.

I informed him that pecker was slang for penis. He laughed, then paused to think and came back with, "So, that really makes woodpecker a funny name for a bird."

I replied, "Yep, and even more so when you consider that "wood" is slang for an erection." He doubled over laughing. Mr. Lime became disgusted with the entire conversation and told me I was being inappropriate.

I intoned the poor boy would be forced to learn the alternate meanings for "bird" on the school bus.

Yes, I am that mother.

13 comments:

joeh said...

I've never seen a pileated...very cool, definantly a Woody Woodpecker.

You might like the book "The Grail Bird" about the search for the Ivory Bill Woodpecker for which the Pileated is sometimes mistaken.

The WASP in me says the talk about "wood" and "pecker" is inappropriate, but better kids learn such slang from a "cool mom" than a dirt bag kid on the street.

Bijoux said...

We got all those woodpeckers at the old house. It's weird that we don't get any here, still having a wooded lot. I did see a pair of European Starlings at our feeder a few weeks ago. It was the first time I've ever seen one in my life, even though Internet says they are quite common.

Saz said...

gorgeous images !!

saz x

Anvilcloud said...

It's nice that you and yours enjoy certain humour.

Suldog said...

I shall never again be able to read "woodpecker" without thinking "erect penis bird". Thanks a lot. I assumed my mind was as bent as it could possibly be, but you insist on seeing if it can bend just a little bit more.

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

Aah ...teachable moments.
Good job on the pictures, too.

Stephen Hayes said...

In the movie "Auntie Mame" she marries a man who owns a plantation called Peckerwood. My parents always laughed when this name was mentioned but I didn't get it, until I met that dirt bag kid on the street Joe was talking about.

coopernicus said...

we have a pie eyed woodpecker that just hangs upside down from the feeder and belches out rude tweets to passing chickadees....

Secret Agent Woman said...

Great woodpecker shots. I love all woodpeckers and also put out suet blocks, but you can't beat the Pileateds for pure impressiveness. I have one who visits my yard on occasion.

Craig said...

Well, I have always thought that 'pecker' was a reference to the, um, activity of an erect penis. . .

But I wish you had been my mom. . . (not sure, tho, that when I was 10, I'd have known what an 'erection' was). . .

;)

Jocelyn said...

From hence forth, could you change Mr. Lime's pseudonym on this blog to Hairy Woodpecker?

~Tim said...

Great photos.

Also ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha....

Hilary said...

Your family is a hoot. :)

Great captures of all those peckers. I've often heard but still haven't seen a Pileated. If you saw a Hairy (snort) woodpecker, don't worry about trying to detect the difference in markings. You'd see a distinct difference in size, as the Hairy is significantly larger than the Downy. In some cases, size really does matter. ;)