A Tall Drink of Water


Acorn Woodpeckers drinking from sprinkler


Now that we have truly entered the long stretch of hot and dry weather typical for this area at this time of year, the animals in the canyon can increasingly be found seeking out remaining water sources. The seasonal creek still has water in a few places, but large portions are little more than beds of rock and sand now. In addition to the water that I leave in containers behind my house, there are also many troughs provided for the horses living in the adjacent pasture. Most of the local mammals can be found (at some time of day) visiting these or other unintentional water sources around the property. Birds are also frequent visitors — drinking, bathing and even hunting insects over the water. (And, of course, the insects themselves also have a great need for moisture in these months. In addition to their own requirements, many bees and wasps also require water in order to construct their nests.)

I thought I’d share the above photo because it’s a nifty summer/fall behavior that I’ve seen the Acorn Woodpeckers engage in every year that we’ve lived here. They can often be seen in numbers of three or more squabbling over the opportunity to cling to a sprinkler head and drink the small amount of liquid that sometimes seeps out.

(NOTE: This photo was taken on July 28, 2009 — two years ago to the date!)

Harsi / July 28, 2011 / birds, weather


  1. ro - July 29, 2011 @ 6:27 am

    I feel a bit parched myself, I really struggle this time of year. You may find me behind the cabin taking a drink. Interesting photo Harsi, I wondered how your creek was faring.

  2. Harsi - July 29, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    I hear where you’re coming from, Ro… I drink a lot of water, but I tend to just drink it room temp… I usually prefer it that way. But, lately, I’ve been pouring myself big tall chilly glasses, just for the refreshing sensation. So… I just peeked out my window (with camera in hand) because I did NOT want to miss out on getting a shot of the native Rochellus darrowii stopping at my little watering station. Alas… I must have just missed you! But, I did see three (yes, THREE!) male Western Tanager getting a drink. Awesome!


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