|Volume 9, Issue 1||
The Nature of Cedar Mill
As the trees lose their leaves we gain access to sightings of more of our woodpeckers as they climb up and down the trees eating insects. One of my favorite woodpeckers is the Acorn woodpecker. I like them since they are such "show offs" and love to pose for whoever wants to admire their magnificent coloring. They are not found in Cedar Mill but they are a short distance away. Dawson Creek Corporate center behind the Hillsboro library has several ponds with a good variety of migratory ducks and even generally some wood ducks. The star of that area is the Acorn woodpecker!
To the south of the Dawson ponds is a wetlands area with several dead oak trees. There are live oak trees to the south of the library also full of woodpeckers gathering acorns. The birds then fly to the dead trees, where they deposit these treasures in previously drilled out holes. The trees are riddled with holes and last week when I was there the noisy flock was busily filling the holes for their winter stash. Back and forth, calling to each other loudly—you can't miss them. If the sun shines on their heads the yellow and red almost glow. They are attention grabbers for sure. Our area is usually the northern most spot in the US where you can see these gorgeous woodpeckers.
Of course in my yard and all around Cedar Mill we have many woodpeckers, including the Hairy and the smaller Downy and Flickers and occasionally Sapsuckers and Pileateds. The Downys are the most common at suet feeders and in trees but it's worth the short trip to Hillsboro to see the Acorn woodpeckers and take a stroll on the very nice paved paths to see the ducks and then maybe stop in to the library and read the magazines while looking out onto the ponds from the large picture windows—very nice winter day!
Lauretta Young is a retired physician who now leads birding tours in Cedar Mill and beyond. Check out her website at www.portlandbirdwatching.com or her husband's photos at www.flickr.com/photos/youngbirders/
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