A juvenile red-bellied woodpecker was picking at the suet feeder, while a pack of Carolina chickadees scurried around the trunk, hoping to pick up some crumbs. This annoyed the juvenile woodpecker, who turned around and lunged at one...
...and caught him.
It's hard to say who was more shocked. The woodpecker recovered rapidly, though, and whipped the chickadee around by one wing, flinging him off the tree trunk. The chickadee flailed madly in mid-air and made a lurching flight into the beech tree, while the other chickadees swirled around it. I don't think they'll mess with that woodpecker again.
I've never seen a red-bellied woodpecker actually CATCH anybody--they charge the other birds all the time, they're big bullies, and nothing messes with them, short of blue jays. I wonder if the adults make sure they don't catch anyone--they want a threat, not a fight--and the juvenile just didn't get it, or if the chickadee was just slow.
The lumpy squirrel is back. I think I'll call him Lumpiest. He has at least six warbles, and is definitely a squirrel who has seen better days. If he lives through the summer, his hide's gonna look like the surface of the moon.
It's raining again today. We had a truly gorgeous weekend, followed by several days of rain, which is about the perfect combination.
Mowed the stiltgrass. Apparently if you can mow it right before it seeds, you can kill that years crop. I suspect in the future, we'll just have to keep the back mowed and hope that other stuff manages to fight back.
Planted bulbs. I put in anemones and allium--allium attracts butterflies and looks funky, and anemones bloom in very early spring, which I was reading is a time when our native bumblebees are at the very end of their food supply. So all those crocuses and things aren't just to keep gardners from going nuts, but provide valuable food for starving bees. Who knew?