SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker still at Centennial Park

After searching unsuccessfully 2 days, I considered that the Centennial Park Yellow-bellied Sapsucker may have left the area. However, I know that they can be missed for several reasons: if they are loafing in a large cottonwood, it is virtually impossible to see them as they tend to perch on a horizontal branch; they are hiding from disruption in the top section of a pine tree where pine needles are thicker; or they may be foraging at another location in the area. Since it was tennis lesson day with a lot of players at the court across from where this sapsucker is usually found, though I was there early there had already been a lot of activity as they park their cars adjacent to the pine trees.

All this to say I thought it was worth another trip to look for the sapsucker--and it paid off as I did find the bird. Since it had been so sensitive that I had avoided looking for it for a month to avoid being an intrusive birder, I stopped my car before I got to the tree the bird was in so I would be about 50 feet away. I stayed in my car and I was careful not to make noise. Indeed, these precautions were necessary as this sapsucker would stop feeding and freeze when a car would drive by or on one occasion when a person walked by on the other side of the street. In fact, I had to be careful taking photos as this sapsucker would stop feeding and look in my direction when it heard the clicking noise that my digital camera makes when I take a photo (not a lot of noise as I have turned off the bell-like noise many of these digital cameras make). So in order not to disturb it's feeding, I didn't try to move my car to get better photos (though I did get a view of it's gorgeous red crown). As these pics may not be as good as I could have gotten, it would not have been worth it to disturb this super-sensitive bird. I did brighten and add some contrast to this photo as it was rather dark (I usually only crop my pics).

I also saw a Ruby-crowned Kinglet in the trees where this sapsucker was feeding plus a second kinglet at Rouse Park.

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