Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Woodpecker

Today I found a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Picoides minor) in the schoolyard. It had flown against a window and I thought it was dead, so I picked it up to bury it somewhere. I nearly jumped out of my skin when it grabbed my fingers with his feet - it had a strong grip and sharp claws. It seemed dazed and was content to sit on my hand. I decided to put it up in a tree in a meadow behind the school where the students don't go, after it had drunk some water. I checked on it about an hour later and it had fallen asleep, his head buried in its feathers. I don't know if it will make it, it probably has a concussion, but I hope for the best. I thought about seeing a vet with it, but there's not much a vet could have done and the nearest avian vet would have been a two hour drive away.
Despite the sad circumstances, it was neat to see a woodpecker that close. I got a good look at the weird tongue, and the gorgeous colouring and at the stiff tail feathers that allow it to sit on a tree trunk and lean way back to hammer on the bark.

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