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Listening to the Sap Rise?


Yellow-bellied sapsucker in Central Park, Feb 2021 (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

17 March 2022

Spring is here and tree sap is rising in western Pennsylvania. This month yellow-bellied sapsuckers (Sphyrapicus varius) are migrating through our area, pausing to drill holes in the trees to sip the welling sap.

How does a sapsucker know a tree is a good candidate for a meal? Can he hear the sap rising? Maybe so.

Seven years ago I learned that with special microphones we can hear the secret sounds of trees. Here’s an example from a Scots pine, recorded by Marcus Maeder’s trees project.

Auditory emissions of a Scots pine (recording by Marcus Maeder)

On Throwback Thursday learn more about the secret sounds of trees and listen to one in the video.

(photo from Wikimedia Commons, audio from Marcus Maeder’s trees project; click on the captions to see the originals)

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