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Woodpecker Wake Up

2017-12-08 10:12:32
by:Crystie Kisler I wake this morning, as I do each day, to a sound. Usually it is the hot-water heater rumbling on in the wee hours, or else the first exuberant squeal from my toddler. But lately there has been another noise coaxing my consciousness awake. It starts as a sort of shuffling, then develops into a scratching, then becomes an actual pounding. In a way it all sounds like the noises my mind might make as it tries to rev up into an alert state after a night of slumber. So it takes me awhile to realize these sounds are not inside my own head. Then it takes a few more moments, because I am groggy and half-dreaming, to figure out what else it could be. A mouse in the wall? A branch knocking against the roof? Oh, I got it. The bird. It’s the woodpecker— the one that spends the dawn hours of each day in the eaves just above my bedroom window. It is my early-morning avian instructor, teaching me vital lessons about my place in the world. The woodpecker in question is a red-shafted flicker, a type of Northern flicker officially designated as Colaptes auratus cafer. Colaptes derives from the Greek verb colapt, to peck. In its own family, it is considered a medium sized woodpecker but it is big for a bird in our little patch of woods. And so we often catch a quick glimpse of spotted wings and orange shafts undulating through the air. Sometimes we find a telltale feather on the ground. And we hear them pecking of course. . . Read More at