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The Daily Bucket is a place where we post and exchange our observations about the natural happenings we see. Birds, blooms, bugs and more - each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.
Gooseville, WI

I felt and heard the soft flutter of wings next to my hand. She hovered in hesitation and landed next to me with a small thud as her breast and beak hit hard on the icy porch deck. Both legs were splayed out sharply on the ice and she scrambled to upright herself. She wasn't embarrassed by the clumsy, flopped-down landing.

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Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens

She eyed the small chunk of frozen suet that had fallen next to my boot and pounced on it with gusto. I watched as she worked the suet with her long sticky tongue. I could see the barbed tip and tiny bristles going in and out, in and out. peck, flick, peck, flick,

With each peck and tongue flick, a thick nictitating membrane closed over her eyes to protect them from flying or falling debris.

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I marveled at the special soft buff colored feathers, that were thrust forward to delicately protect her hidden nostrils. I studied her naked avian dinosaur toes with their sharp, shiney, curved nails.

♫ Baby, it's cold outside. ♫
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Sometimes, little birds deliver joyous gifts, unknowingly.

Sometimes, little birds make you laugh as they try to rid themselves of tiny persistant fuzzles that hang from beaks. Ha!

My SADness has been lifted for another day and spring is near.

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What's happening in your neck of the woods these days? Got cabin fever? I do. Let's talk about it. Everyone is welcome here. Throw your winter note in the bucket and we'll stir it around a bit.

Originally posted to Backyard Science on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Birds and Birdwatching and Badger State Progressive.

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