[birdky] RPT: Ballard Co CBC addendum

  • From: Brainard.Palmer-Ball@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: birdky@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 26 Dec 2002 16:02:39 -0500

On a post regarding the Ballard County CBC earlier in the week, I totally
blanked out on another real highlight . . . Red-headed Woodpeckers!

Red-headed's are really ABUNDANT in the bottomland forests this winter; two
parties counted a conservative 265 individuals, many of them youngsters.
Each time I would get out of the car and squeak for birds, AT LEAST 5 or 10
would begin chattering and chasing one another about, apparently in defense
of winter territories; in some places, I think 15-20 birds responded within
earshot.  I am not sure which trees they are keying in on, but one or a few
of the oak and/or hickory species must have done well this summer in
contrast to the other mast producing species of uplands that were likely
affected by the regional drought.  

I used to think that Red-headed Woodpeckers were this abundant every winter
in the bottomland forests along the lower Ohio and Mississippi rivers
because on December 20, 1983, we counted 231 individuals and on December 29,
1984, we counted 357 individuals on the Ballard CBC!  However, in subsequent
years, there have been a few winters when hardly ANY were in the woods,
apparently the result of mast failures.

Anyway, the concentration of birds this winter has to be as impressive as it
ever gets, and it is really a sight to see and hear.  One has to suspect
that there must be thousands upon thousands of  birds all along the Ohio and
Miss River bottoms in the region this year.

bpb, Louisville

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