Saturday, June 15, 2019

Nature's Alarm Clock: Red-breasted Sapsucker in the Humboldt Redwoods

It was for all intents and purposes the perfect campsite. It was out on the edge of the campground next to a beautiful meadow at Albee Creek in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The neighbors were quiet. It had been a serene night and I slept as well as I have in many months. The morning came gently, soft sunlight glistening through the trees.

And then all of the sudden someone was playing drums in the middle of the campground! My pre-conscious state caused me to rise suddenly in indignation as I prepared to confront the rude camper, but once awake I realized we were being greeted by a woodpecker of some sort.

It's a little frustrating to go birding in a deep forest if you are poor of hearing or not well-versed in bird calls, but woodpeckers are in a class by themselves. If they are at work, it doesn't take too long to locate them. I grabbed my camera and I sighted the bird almost immediately. To my great delight it was a Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) drumming on the hollow shell of a dead redwood tree. I've only seen them a couple of times through the years.
You all know I exaggerate about everything, so I made a video of the woodpecker at work. Turn up the sound!

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