Monday, February 14, 2011

Reminders of Warmer Seasons

Warm(er) winter days like this remind us of fall and spring, which are the best seasons for birding in Bryant Park. While only our resident house sparrows and pesky pigeons stick around for the coldest months of the year, you can still see evidence of some migratory species that call the park home during sunnier seasons.


The tree in the photo above, and others like it on the front terrace of the New York Public Library, has been permanently marked by Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, a small, popular species of woodpecker.

Taken at the end of October 2010, the photo below shows two of the birds in action, tap-tap-tapping their way into the bark of the trees. As the name suggests, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers drill shallow holes with their beaks to literally suck sap out of trees. They get a two-for-one deal using this technique, as they can also eat insects that are drawn to the sap.


We should see more of the Sapsuckers when the birds begin to migrate north in April or May.

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