The Lake Hills City Birds

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker makes holes in trees to collect sap. Once it leaves the hole other birds, bats, and even hummingbirds like to get the leftover sap from the hole. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have been found drilling more than 1,000 species of trees. They like birches and maples the most. The Sapsucker has no issues using its bill to drum metal objects. On our house they like to use the gutters. The Sapsucker whacks its beak against metal to make a loud morse code type sound. This is a way to let other birds know that this is its territory. Also, it is a way to summon a mate.

This bird is larger than a Downy Woodpecker but slightly smaller than the Hairy Woodpecker. When I saw this in the tree, I thought it was a Hairy Woodpecker. Once I zoomed in I realized it was a different type of woodpecker. It was the first time I had seen one in my backyard.

These birds are mostly black and white. Both sexes have a red forehead. The male also has a red throat. It has white or yellowish feathers on the underside. It is 7.1 – 8.7 inches in length, weights 1.5 – 1.9 ounces, and has a wingspan of 13.4 – 15.8 inches.

The Lake Hills City Birds

White-throated Sparrow

I have a flock of these cute little birds in my backyard. They are brown and black above and gray below. This bird has a black-and-white-striped head with a bright white throat. There is a yellow spot in front of each eye. Its length is between 6.3 – 7.1 inches. It weighs between 0.8 – 1.1 oz. with a wingspan is between 7.9 – 9.1 inches.

These birds stay near the ground. I have not seen them on any of my feeders. They scurry quickly across the ground so it is difficult to get a photo. They blend in with the fall leaves. They can be seen scratching through the leaves for food. In my backyard, these birds like the shrubs in my front yard and the overgrowth along the fence line. They live here year round.

They eat mainly seeds from grasses and weeds. If they visit a feeder, it is usually a platform feeder. I need to add one of those to my backyard. They will eat black oil sunflower seeds and millet from backyard feeders. I throw some seed down on the ground where they are always scratching through the leaves. As you can see in the video, one bird in particular has claimed the territory as his own. In the spring, they can be seen eating the buds and blossoms of trees. In the video, this small bird took on a male Cardinal and won.