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A Catalog of Birdsadded its 129th member as Dr. Pam Freeman, a Professor in the College's Biology Department, submitted a photo of a Black-Backed Woodpecker (Picoides Arcticus) she captured with the camera during the summer of 2017.
Woodpecker traditionalists knew the Black-Backed Woodpecker as the Arctic Three-Toed Wood- pecker until The American Ornithologist's Union changed the name in 1931 to the Black-Backed Three-Toed Woodpecker. Not content with the confusion they had sown, the AOU changed the name again in 1983 to the laconic, and definitely less-fun to say, Black-Backed Woodpecker.
The Black-Backed Woodpecker [No. 400 in illustration] has a "Back glossy black, without any white. Only three toes, two in front and one behind ... they breed from the northern edge of the Union north to the limit of the trees."
But why only three toes? Aren't four toes better? This, from All About Birds: " Black-backed, American Three-toed, and Eurasian Three-toed Woodpeckers have only three toes on each foot; all other woodpeckers have four. It’s been suggested that the loss of the fourth toe allows these species to lean farther back and deliver harder blows to the tree, possibly helping them excavate nest holes in harder (and therefore safer) wood."
A Catalog of Birds added its 128th member this May, with the camera bagging an Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus). Kingbirds are "one of the most noisy birds, always quarrelling about something, and usually coming off victorious in whatever they may undertake. Crows are objects of hatred to them, and they always drive them from the neighborhood, vigorously dashing upon and pecking them from above and often following them for a great distance. They have their favorites perches from which they watch for insects, usually a dead branch, or a tall stake in the field."
"Note. - A series of shrill, harsh sounds like "thsee," thsee.""