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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Red-headed Woodpeckers and Bowhunting (Blog One-hundred four

Virginia's urban bowhunting season continues to be an abysmal experience for me.  I went out four evenings this week and saw a grand total of one doe - and she was 60 yards away and heading in the opposite direction.  If there are plenty of deer in Roanoke County, I surely have been unable to find them on the four properties I have visited.

My incompetence at finding whitetails aside, there are charms of the season.  One evening I watched a flock of night hawks "hawking" for insects.  It was the only time all year I have seen this species.

As great of an experience as that was, the highlight of my bowhunting and birding has been on a Roanoke County farm that possesses red-headed woodpeckers in great numbers.  I have been to two woodlots on the farm and both have healthy populations of this woodpecker, which is a threatened species in many states.

The red-headed woodpecker makes a very interesting sound, its "scream" is similar to that of the red-bellied, but the former's noise is higher pitched and not as loud.  On one outing, I watched two males fighting over turf while a third individual, presumably a female, watched nearby. Both males were shouting non-stop at the other.

I have been looking for my first kinglets of the season, but so far none have shown up, just like the deer.

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