It was his soft mewy call that caught my attention, that distinctive low whine that sounds a bit like a cat's mew--the wintering call of a Yellow-bellied sapsucker.woodpeckers also happen to like holly berries. And since there is a holly within view of my window, its handy to look out from time to time to see whose come to dine.
While browsing the subject of sapsucker dining, I did learn another new tidbit about their habits. Sapsuckers lap the sap from their excavated tree wells in much the same way as hummingbirds lap nectar from flowers or feeders. But unlike hummers, the Yellow-bellied sapsucker has hairs on his tongue that help facilitate the lapping of sap. To see an image of a sapsucker's tongue, click this link to Hilton Pond Center.
Besides being my first bird photographs for 2010, he earned the honor of becoming my first bird sketch of the new year, too. And I can say I am happy to hear their soft mewy calls mixed in with the other woodpecker calls in the area.
Linked to Bird Photography Weekly #72 at Birdfreak.com to promote the conservation of our world's birds.