can weaken a tree, they wont kill it.
If you guessed this is o yellow-bellied sapsucker
on a birch tree, then you really know your birds
use a different strategy in early spring, when trees are surging with upward-moving, watery sap in their woody tissue (xylem) that carries nutrients from the roots to developing leaves (maple sap is one example).
(Sphyrapicus ruber) and Red-naped Sapsucker
also feed on tree sap (surprise) and the inner bark of trees.
drill rows of feeding holes through the outer bark and feed on sap and cambium.
and whippoorwills in the dark do it, Snipes on a lark do it, Even hummingbirds without words do it, Woodcocks and wild duck, they say, rue it, Let's do it, to wit, Too-whit
constitute another potentially destructive group of woodpeckers, as they drill holes deep into the bark to feed on oozing sap.
To explain the sapsucker
's bill, we do not look at the inner workings of the bill, but tell a story about how bills of a particular sort contribute to the chances of individual sapsuckers
living long enough to reproduce (confers selective advantage), and then a story about how selective advantages conferred upon individuals in a population make a feature statistically likely to proliferate in future generations, as those members with the selective advantage are more successful at producing progeny.
are woodpeckers that tap holes like these in trees.
The stinging trees of Wongabel were crawling with creatures: spiders, scarab beetles, green ants, mites, katydids, sapsuckers
, leafhoppers, assassin bugs, a few snails and the occasional frog and lizard.
Red-winged blackbirds, yellow-bellied sapsuckers
, rose-breasted grosbeaks, scarlet tanagers, indigo buntings, yellow warblers, yellowthroats: this is wild plumage, not civilian, and the names speak to the effect spring has, as birds materialize variously in migratory pulses, and the sow bear rummages in the swamp by Wheeler Pond for jack-in-the-pulpits and fern roots and sedges, and the waterthrushes strut, the tree frogs climb the poplars, and ovenbirds make the woods ring with teacher-teacher-teacher, just as teachers like me feel that the term may end.