Although this male red-bellied woodpecker somehow lost most of the top half of his beak, the resourceful bird has managed to stay otherwise healthy. Perhaps it’s because he’s learned to gorge himself on chunks of sunflower hearts from our bird feeder.
By tipping his head and shooting out that l-o-n-g tongue, the bird scoops seed after seed into what’s left of his bill, where they instantly disappear.
It will be interesting to see how long the red-bellied can survive, and whether his defective bill affects his ability to find a mate as the breeding season approaches.
We wonder whether his handicap may curtail his pounding on our cedar siding!