Saturday, 16 January 2010

Black Woodpecker

Saw a male Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) this afternoon while out for a walk in the woods. Its pitch black plumage and deep red crown were incredibly striking against the white of the snow on the ground, where it sat, watching me as I approached, having interrupted its meal of grubs, which it had been pecking out of a rotten pine stump. I stood watching it for a good ten minutes only about 20 feet away. It didn't appear to be afraid, and finally hopped onto a pine tree close by where it perched, quite still, at one moment observing me out of one white-rimmed coal-black eye and the next, hiding behind the tree stem, until I finally moved away.

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