The Sciences

A beautiful and annoying visitor

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitApr 2, 2008 4:34 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

My brother-in-law (not the title character in this entry) just bought himself a fantastic digital SLR camera, and has been merrily snapping away. He stayed with us this past weekend, and after a light snowfall got this shot of a visitor in our driveway:

It's definitely a woodpecker, and he caught it just as it was taking flight. Thing is, it matches the pictures we looked up of a Gilded Flicker, but a guidebook I found says they only live in the desert. What was he doing in Boulder? I'll tell you what he was doing. He was eyeballing the siding of my house, sizing it up for a vicious pecking. We've been woken up a half dozen times at 6:00 a.m. by woodpeckers attacking the house. When we first moved here, I noticed a lot of houses had plastic owls hanging up, or drawings that looked like faces two feet across hanging over the neighbors' eaves. I recognized them as being woodpecker scarer-offers, and had second thoughts about living here. I love Boulder, I really do. But I will eat the next frakkin' bird that wakes me up that early. I've taken to keeping tennis balls outside the door to the back yard so I can throw them near (not at) the bird to scare it off. It works, but he's always back the next day. Pain in the butt bird. Sure is pretty though.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month
Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
1 free articleSubscribe
Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.