While walking in the woods, along the beach or simply on a nature trail have you ever seen something odd that made you wonder not only what it was but also what made it happen? Below left is a tree with holes in a line made parallel to the ground. What creature would make these on this poor tree? The answer is of course is the Sapsucker. Why do they do this? The sapsucker drills holes in rows or rings around the trunks of trees to feed on the oozing sap. They are attracted to any tree in stress because while in stress a tree will concentrate sugars in order to help repair frailties or injuries.The sapsucker can indeed hurt and actually even kill trees with this behavior.
Did you notice how the Sapsucker blended into the tree making it camouflaged a bit? It is very strategic for many critters to “wear camouflage” in the wild. See the tree on the left in the above photo? One has to look closely to see the Screech Owl in the top left of the dead snag. The closer photo on the right shows him more clearly…pretty well hidden in the hole of this tree. This Screech Owl is in a day roost and can be found at this tree at the same spot every day.
Another bird that mimics their surroundings is a bird found only in the south Texas area called a Pauraque. They also day roost but do so on the ground. See how well they blend into the ground in the above photos? Even with the close up photos above it is still amazing how they have evolved with this very protective coloration
So the next time you take walk in the woods, along the beach or on a nature trail look closely because you never know what you will see or what is seeing you…