The back and wings of this bird are spotted and barred with a black and
white zebra-like pattern. The neck, throat, belly and head are greyish-tan in
color. The male has a small red cap on the top of the head.
Females and juveniles are similar, but both lack the red cap of the adult
male. White wing patches are prominent in flight. The dark tail has white bars
on the central tail feathers. They range from 8?10 in (20?25 cm) in
This woodpecker's voice is a rolling churr sound. It also makes a yip
yip yip sound and a kee-u, kee-u, kee-u sound. Its drum is long and
Forages on tree trunks and cacti, in outer branches of trees or shrubs, or
on ground. When seeking insects on tree trunks, generally probes or gleans at
surface, rarely excavating for food. Often drinks sugar-water from hummingbird
3-4, up to 6. White. Incubation is by both sexes, about 14 days. Young:
Both parents feed young. Age at which young leave nest not well known, probably
about 4 weeks; accompany parents for some time thereafter. 2-3 broods per
Omnivorous. Diet includes wide variety of insects, also cactus fruit, other
wild and cultivated fruit, berries of shrubs and mistletoe, nectar from flowers,
seeds, small lizards, earthworms, eggs and sometimes young of smaller
Displays, used largely in aggression, include exaggerated bowing and
head-swinging, accompanied by loud calls. Nest site is a cavity excavated in
giant cactus or in tree (cottonwood, willow, or large mesquite), sometimes in
palm trunk. Cavity usually 8-30' above ground. Both sexes take part in
excavating. Cavity in giant cactus cannot be used for several months, as inner
pulp of cactus must dry to solid casing around cavity; holes may be excavated
one year, used the next.
Thought for today:
Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of
any one ambitious to illuminate his name.
In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism
is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel.
With all due respect to an enlightened but
inferior lexicographer I beg to submit it is the first.
Ambrose Bierce, writer (24 Jun 1842-1914)
Word for today:
The noun poignancy refers to something that is deeply
touching, especially something that brings forth strong emotions like sympathy,
sadness, or sorrow. The poignancy of the movie may bring you to tears.
Bring tissues. Lots of tissues.
The noun poignancy is from the Old French word
poindre, which means "to prick or sting." Related words include the
adjective poignant. Similar words include pathos and
bathos, although both of these words often imply a sort artificiality
that poignancy does not. Pathos can imply a trick by the writer or
speaker to produce sympathy or sadness and bathos can imply artificial
sentimentality, so poignancy is often the preferred word when genuine
emotion is involved.
I WENT TO A BOOKSTORE AND ASKED THE SALESWOMAN,
"WHERE'S THE SELF- HELP SECTION?"
SHE SAID IF SHE TOLD ME, IT WOULD DEFEAT THE PURPOSE.