Let’s say you got the following request: “I’m from out of your area and will be in town next week. And I really want to see a Hairy Woodpecker. Could you help?”
I don’t know about you but my reply would be “How much time do you have?”
As I alluded at the end of the last post – birds listed as common sometimes aren’t.
I prided myself in LaSalle County Illinois and now Johnson County Indiana of knowing where to find the abundant, common, and scarce birds.
But on any given day is anything abundant to common? Some are “usually” abundant – like Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers, others common – like a Northern Flicker, and scarcer like Pileated and Red-headed Woodpeckers.
So where does the Hairy Woodworker fall?
Supposedly Fairly Common per National Geographic and Dunne. At least Sibley lists it as uncommon.
But I can’t tell you with certainty where to find one in Johnson County. And that bothers me.
All I know is when we have a count – Christmas, Big May Day – there is a sigh of relieve when someone says they saw a Hairy Woodpecker.
Maybe people are seeing them at their feeders but I’m not a feeder type guy.
There are several other birds listed as common such as Belted Kingfisher, Carolina Wren, and Song Sparrow which seem to be scarce on count days. There are more but you get the idea.
The point is to demonstrate the only sure way to know your local bird distribution is to bird the different habitats regularly.