April: Drummer Boy

April 4, 2019. It’s a bit of a good news, bad news story. On the one hand, my river birch is dying. That makes me sad. I have always enjoyed it’s flaky bark and filtered shade.

On the other, as it dies and is infiltrated with insects, it becomes an impressive standing bird feeder.

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) (male)

Even so, I was surprised and delighted to look out the back door and see this. Red-bellies are pretty common in my back yard. Not so much this magnificent, noisy, red-crested drummer boy.

Half of the tree did not produce leaves this past year, so I had the dead half cut off to keep it from falling on the fence. We’ll see what happens this coming year.

But… even when it produces no more leaves, I’ll have it topped rather than cut down. Maybe it will even become a cavity tree and home to a pair of these beauties!

BTW, I know this is a boy because of his red chin strap.

#BestOf2019 #YearInReview #YearOfBirds

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