Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
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Sunday, September 7, 2014
Most of north Texas' Woodpeckers don't migrate.
migrate – but most of them are here all year.Evasive
answer, I know. Of the 22 Woodpecker species north of Mexico, only 15 migrate
long distances. Non-migrators include the most frequently-seen here; the Downy
and Hairy Woodpeckers. The Red-bellied Woodpecker doesn’t migrate either. On the
other hand, our local species of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (a member of the
Woodpecker group) spends summers up north and winters here. Soit's called a "Migrator”.
How a woodpecker eats suet If you looked closely, you’d see that a
woodpecker has many tiny barbs on the end of his (or her) long, narrow
tongue.So the tongue has sort of a
bottle-brush shape. The barbs catch on the suet and break off tiny pieces. The
“regular” tongue brings these pieces into the woodpecker’s mouth. Although many
birds peck at suet, only the woodpeckers (in
north Texas, Downy WPs, Hairy WPs and Red-bellied WPs are common) are
adapted like this.
OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger,
is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north
Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society
of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape
Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National
Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.