|Sapsucker hatching held by rehabilitator Nancy Kelly.|
When the telephone rings at 5 p.m., it seems to be always either a fire call or a wildlife-transport call.
This call involved some hatchling woodpeckers—probably red-naped sapsuckers or possibly yellow-bellied sapsuckers—I am not enough of a birder to tell at that age.
The story starts with someone from the Denver suburb of Littleton who owns a cabin in the Wet Mountain Valley. They came down for the weekend yesterday, bringing some aspen logs they had cut (somewhere else?) for firewood. Or did they cut aspen there at their cabin? I'm not sure.
The nest was in a cavity in one chunk of wood. OK, they did not know about the nest when they cut that dead aspen down. But then apparently their reaction was, "Oh well. Just let 'em die."
Someone else—friend or neighbor—would not let that happen. The length of aspen trunk with the peeping hatchlings inside ended up at the office of a veterinarian in Silver Cliff.
The vet is not a bird vet. She tried contacting the local district wildlife manager. He was away. She talked to the Forest Service staffer at the FS work center next door. He suggested that she call the Sanders, the rehabbers we often deliver to.
"We don't do birds," they said, and referred her to a rehabber in Pueblo who does. Whereupon our telephone rang.
M. and I rushed through supper and then headed for Silver Cliff. All down the canyon and across the prairie to Pueblo, the Jeep was full of a cheeping sound like someone sharpening a saw with a very small file.
UPDATE, February 11, 2012: It turned out that the hatchlings' yellow color fooled us all. They grew up to be hairy woodpeckers instead, and here are more photos from rehabilitator Nancy Kelly's site.