Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our Zoo

Allan trying to catch the squirrel
The squirrel hanging out before Allan chased it away
Peeking out at me
The pileated woodpecker

Everyone knows that I have three little birds. My birds, Will, Emma and Jack are enough to make me feel like I live in a zoo most days. Evidently, these are not the only strange animals in our midst. A couple of weeks ago, Allan decided he couldn't stand it any longer and HAD to cut down one of the dead trees in our backyard.

Will had made a birdhouse which was attached to this tree, so he decided to cut the tree off just above the house. Allan had mentioned that some bird had been trying to make the hole bigger, but no further investigation was conducted. When setting up the ladder and getting things ready to cut down the tree, Allan saw a big set of eyes looking back at him from the hole in the birdhouse. He thought they were really big eyes and asked me to take a peek. When I did, the big eyes started coming out of the hole toward me! I had my camera in hand and started snapping photos. It looked similar to a squirrel, but the eyes! They were huge! And it had a funny stripe down the side. It came all the way out and just stayed put on the tree. Allan decided he was going to CATCH it. It had other plans and was much too fast for Allan. The tree came down and we haven't seen the creature since. We did do some searching on Google and found out that it was a FLYING SQUIRREL. How exciting! Note: zoom in on the squirrel's booty. Interesting!

Not a week later, I stepped onto the deck to see a huge black bird with red on it fly out of the yard. Not being a bird expert, I guessed it to be a pheasant. Later, my mom and I kept hearing a very distinct and loud bird call. Neither of us had ever heard it before. Later, we found the bird pecking on the ground just beyond the deck. My mom was able to take a picture of it and we discovered it was a Pileated Woodpecker. For those of you who have never seen one, they are HUGE! It was about the size of a chicken. No kidding.

Amazing how many different creatures we have discovered in our own backyard. I guess it makes getting a dog not seem so wild after all!


Nana said...

I have heard of the Pileated Woodpecker, but I never dreamed I would see one in Tanna's backyard, let alone get a picture of one. And I am here to tell you, it IS a Big bird!! I bet the wing span on that thing was 2'!! I must say it was an experience, especially for ME to get its picture and not cut half of it off!

Sonya said... have a lot of wild life excitement there!