The short and the long of it

It’s a rare occasion when I get to meet one of the contributors to the Wannabe Birder. It happened last week, when I happened to meet Jeanette Lang. It turns out the buildings we work in are within two blocks of each other.
Jeannette was telling me about the scores of redpolls the Langs have had in their yard — 80-plus, she says.
Here’s a few of them in a picture she sent along on Monday:

A big flock of redpolls indeed, with more in the trees above, she writes.
So that’s the short of it. The long comes from me. I finally got a usable picture of the pileated woodpecker that has been visiting the suet feeders at the Wannabe ranch in West Duluth for weeks. Here it is:

It’s a camera-shy bird that won’t let me get very close, and the movement of camera to face really spooks it.
I was home yesterday, and I got to spend quite a bit of time observing the birds (and a squirrel) in the subzero weather from the comfort of my dining room. The most amazing thing to me was a starling that bathed joyously in the bird bath for a good 20 seconds before flying away nonchalantly. That starling must be Finnish, I think.

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