Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Real Honey Hole

For a fisherman, a honey-hole is that special place where there is always a good catch.  So it is too with birders that there are those special places where a lot of birds can be found nearly without fail.

In Florida this month, I found a real honey hole.  We were on a nature trail near Titusville mostly looking for early warblers when a beautiful Red-bellied Woodpecker caught my attention.  I usually see them high in the trees so this chap at eye level was special.

The tree he frequented had some exposed termite burrows plus several seeping wounds in the bark.  He was particularly around the seeps. Then, he showed me why.

He was feeding on the sap seeping out the wound. I examined it for insects but found none.  It was literally a real "honey hole".  He came back to it repeatedly.  

In the process of waiting for each return, there appeared another visitor.

It is a Yellow-rumped Warbler.  There were several other warbler species in the area, but this was the only one down low at eye level.  And, why was he down here?

He had the same appetite for the sap, and came back frequently.

There are birders who build a long list of birds seen.  I find unique behaviors observed to be a more interesting sum of experiences. 

Paul Schmitt

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