The woodpecker says wake. wake.

Downy Woodpecker

5:45 a.m. Three days in a row. The Downy Woodpecker sits on the porch rail outside our bedroom window and calls a sharp, loud, one note call:

Pik.

Pik.

Pik.

Listen to Downy Woodpecker sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

It sounds like a distress call. It is impossible to sleep through. I peek through the wooden blinds and the bird is looking at the house, at the window, at me.

I roll out of bed and go carry the suet feeders, tube feeders and bell feeder, which are stored inside overnight because of raccoon banditry, back out to the porch.

The piercing one-note call stops. Now the chorus of ordinary morning birdsong carries no special message for Bird Food Lady.

Downy Woodpecker female

Our most popular and successful back porch suet cake here at Amy’s Early Bird Diner: Feathered Friend High Energy Suet from our local Agway.

(Top photo is a male downy, bottom is a female. Males have a red patch on their noggins, females do not.)

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