NANFA-- off topic: birds of Olympia

Jay DeLong (
Sat, 27 Apr 2002 23:30:04 -0700

Today was a nice spring day that started off rainy but ended with a glowing
sun in blue skies. My wife and I took the opportunity to visit a
ravine-filled waterfront park here in town. It has trails that wind up,
down, over and around through forest, creeks, bluffs and a beach. Now and
then we've seen woodpeckers there-- pileated and redbreasted sapsuckers.
Today we saw both. While we were watching a pileated woodpecker checking
out a tree, I noticed a snag along the trail with lots of holes in it, and I
commented that it must have been a popular woodpecker tree. Laura said
"Look, it still is", and she pointed to a hole about 15 feet up, where we
could see the tail of a bird sticking out. We could hear it pecking inside,
so I rapped on the base with my knuckles and the bird slowly backed out and
perched on the opening while we watched it. It was a redbreasted sapsucker.
After a minute it made 3 high-pitched shreiks, then flew away, immediately
followed by another that emerged from the same hole. They displayed a brief
aerial courtship flight, landed in a nearby tree, mated(!), then flew off!

We also watched an osprey hovering over the water and calling. We saw it
off and on, as that part of the trail went around an inlet to a creek mouth.
Soon we saw it had a fish in its talons and we could also hear a second
osprey. We followed the sounds to their nest in the top of a tall douglas

And the whole time all around us the smallest and most musical bird in the
park, the winter wren, sang his song, which you can hear at

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA
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