Bird Relatives

Summer Sighting

We have had a bird feeder for many years now in consonance with about 50 million other Americans. I can sit by my kitchen window and see who shows up as I drink my morning coffee.

Whimsical Bird Feeder
Robin eating Magnolia Seeds - Courtesy of Sura Jeselsohn

Before the installation of the bird feeder I had recognized a few bird species – robins, cardinals  and sparrows, for example.

But once I had the feeder, unrecognized and more exotic species also appeared. One of those was the Red-Bellied Woodpecker who belly isn’t red although it’s head is. (I’m sure there is a good explanation for this, but I am not aware of one).

Red-Bellied Woodpecker - Courtesy of Sura Jeselsohn
Mystery Bird - Courtesy of Sura Jeselsohn

A few weeks ago, I looked outside and saw a bird sunbathing on the lawn. It reminded me of the Red-bellied woodpecker but something about the wonderful coloring seemed curiously different.

I turned to my Audubon guru, Don Torino. He quickly explained that my unrecognized bird was a Northern Flicker which was a first sighting of this species for me in Riverdale. However, it turned out that I was closer than I thought to an identification. Both species  – Woodpeckers and Flickers – are members of the same Family, the Picidae.

Northern Flicker - Courtesy of Sura Jeselsohn

The more one learns about Nature, the more we begin to recognize connections.

4 thoughts on “Bird Relatives”

  1. Sura,
    Thanks for the Erev Shabbos fresh breath of nature. Those birds are beautiful! And your bird feeder is quite unique.

    1. Actually that is not my birdfeeder. I didn’t have any good photos of my own and so I used a free-use photo from online.

      1. Haven’t seen the northern flicker yet. Red bellied is a regular at our feeder as are Cardinals, mourning doves, sparrows, finches

  2. What a lovely reminder of how we share this planet with so many other creatures.

    I was surprised to learn that Scrub Jays, who are cousins of crows, actually mourn the loss of family members.
    Maybe we’re not as different as we once thought…

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