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Friday, March 25, 2005

Madison Square Park

Today I cut through Madison Square Park on my way to see a client on Park Avenue South. Wherever I happen to be working I try to stroll through that neighborhood’s park. It’s a brief but nice diversion from the cars, buses and trucks. There’s always some interesting natural phenomenon to observe.

As I entered the southwest corner of the park I heard a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker calling. I’m not sure what woodpeckers are “supposed” to sound like but the first time I heard the cat-like mewing of the yellow-bellied it seemed out of place. Today I located the yellow-bellied perched in a Sycamore Maple, calling incessantly. The base of the tree was ringed with small excavations. The bark below the holes was darkened by dripping sap. A squirrel was hanging upsidedown and licking up the sweet liquid. I guess the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was calling because he was upset by the rodent hogging his food source. Nearby I heard a flock of White-throated Sparrows hiding within a stretch of shrubs. Several were making a sharp, squeaking “bink, bink, bink” call. Within a fenced off dog run someone was squeezing a chew toy. The toy’s high-pitched sound seemed oddly in sync with the two bird specie’s calls.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)

-Click to hear a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker-

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Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope