Stand off at the Cedar!

September 6, 2014 – part 2

Edward spots its red head first. On the grassy slope at the base of a young cedar a tense drama is unfolding between a silent pileated woodpecker and a much smaller black squirrel.

Eyes locked on one another each does a little power dance – first to the left, and then to the right – both claiming that particular tree as their exclusive territory.

The bird’s wings are open, about half way, and are moving forward and back – ever so slightly – making it look much larger and intimidating than its 18” frame. And then … it lunges forward at the squirrel only to have to retreat and run around the tree as its opponent charges at it full force! Around and around they go – squirrel in hot pursuit and then the tables turn and woody is the pursuer. Back and forth, back and forth … until woody finally gives in and flies off down a trail leaving the tenacious furry beast victor of this round.

Moral of the story – size doesn’t necessarily matter – it’s persistence that pays off!

Stats: 3 birders

Bird Species identified: 7

Time: 1:20 pm – 4 pm

Weather: sunny and 26 degrees

Location: Stoney Creek Park, Burnaby

You can make a difference: Know someone who is cutting down a tree? Why not suggest that they consider leaving a stump of about 15 – 20 feet. This will create an important natural food source for many birds, including the pileated woodpecker. It will also provide hours of birdwatching entertainment for you!

To join us on our next outdoor adventure check out our calendar tab and look for birdwatching.

 

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Trees by R. Edward, Squirrel by Randy Snyder, Pileated Woodpecker by Alan Russell