Friday, April 13, 2012


Not that we saw any, but we saw the sappy evidence of many Red-Cockaded Woodpecker clusters in Blackwater River State Forest, Florida. When we talked to the specialist at the forest service headquarters, he explained that when rangers find a possible nest tree, they install at least 4 artificial nests close by to accommodate juveniles. The juveniles that adopt the extra holes will help the adults raise new chicks. All nest trees are marked with a white band. The woodpeckers mark each nest hole they use by pecking into the live bark and creating sap drips all around the holes. The sap may keep out some predators. The birds gather at dusk and dawn, but are easier to see at dawn. If we don't see them elsewhere, we will be back there at dawn after the Dry Tortugas.

But while we were cockaded-less at BRSTF, we did see 5 new birds: Eastern Towhee, Bachmann's Sparrow, Brown-Headed Nuthatch, Pine Warbler, and Red-Headed Woodpecker. John got photographs! Oh, and he did successfully photograph the Clapper Rail this morning on Dauphin Island.

John is up to 375.

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