Page 32

DOWNY WOODPECKER The reliance on woodpeckers for nesting support means that the trail is also home to a variety of woodpeckers, including the downy woodpecker. This bird nests in dead trees or decayed parts of live trees. Both the male and female work to prepare the nest hole, an effort that can take up to three weeks. They are black and white, although only the male has a red nape. Woodpeckers don’t sing, but they drum loudly against pieces of wood (or metal). This month especially the downy woodpecker makes a lot of noise, both with a shrill whinnying call and by drumming on trees. The male and female divide up where they look for food. They mainly eat insects, including insects living on or in the stems of weeds that larger woodpeckers cannot reach. About a fourth of their diet consists of plant material, such as grains and berries. Along the trail they share the wooded space with other species, such as red-bellied, pileated and red-headed woodpeckers among others.

DUNN-ERWIN TRAIL The scenery along the trail is varied. The path crosses the Black River headwaters and floodplain. The adjacent forest includes oak and pine, and parts of the trail pass through small wetland communities. Wading birds, migrating shorebirds and other waterfowl often frequent the ponds along the trail. Part of the East Coast Greenway, the Dunn-Erwin Trail has interpretative markers and signs about area history. Updates on the trail’s status, such as when organized runs and repair activities are scheduled, are posted routinely on the trail’s Facebook page (@thedunnerwinrailtrail). OutreachNC has embarked on a yearlong series that highlights regional sites of the N.C. Birding Trail. Enjoy the series as contributor Ray Linville explores beautiful landscapes and birds of our home state. He can be reached at linville910@gmail.com.

32

OutreachNC.com | AUGUST 2018

Profile for OutreachNC magazine

OutreachNC August 2018  

Living Healthy, Dream Sleep Science & Mystery, Birding in NC Dunn-Erwin Trail, The Importance of the Right Fitness Equipment, Cancer Survivo...

OutreachNC August 2018  

Living Healthy, Dream Sleep Science & Mystery, Birding in NC Dunn-Erwin Trail, The Importance of the Right Fitness Equipment, Cancer Survivo...