January 05, 2015

On Frozen Pond

We had a cold snap last night with more frigid weather on the way.
This red-bellied woodpecker visited for a cold drink and dribbled a bit.

Melanerpes carolinus

A Red-bellied Woodpecker can stick out its tongue nearly 2 inches past the end of its beak. The tip is barbed and the bird’s spit is sticky, making it easier to snatch prey from deep crevices. Males have longer, wider-tipped tongues than females, possibly allowing a breeding pair to forage in slightly different places on their territory and maximize their use of available food.
The oldest known Red-bellied Woodpecker was 12 years 1 month old.

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