Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Sentry, Part 3

The Sentry is remodeling. An echoing rat-a-tat-tat of bill against wood can be heard almost non-stop as she enlarges the hole for what is normally a clutch of 4-7 eggs. Yesterday afternoon I watched with a sort of giddyness as she would hammer away for several minutes before sticking her head out and literally spit wood chips out into the wind. If this photo enlarges as it's supposed to you can see the chips mid-air.

After a time she would have to take a break. That kind of hard work must make a RHW hungry. Off she'd fly to several nearby trees for a treat - perhaps even one of those tasty grasshoppers we learned about in the last post. Sometimes she'll dart around and catch some hapless bug on the fly. She'll sqawk about and flit around before coming back to work on her task, sated and ready for work.

She's used to me sitting in my chair with my camera lying on my lap. However, this time whenever I would raise my camera to take a photo she would watch me and begin sqawking incessently. Methinks she's being protective. Therefore, I don't move around much and am content to shoot from this angle. There'll be time for more angles later.

The GOOD news is that there are no signs of Starlings at all. They're gone. Either The Sentry and her mate chased them off for good, or my husband helped us out a bit. Keep your fingers cross for babies!


Anonymous said...

Hooray, fingers crossed for babies and so pleased the Starlings have moved along.


Carla said...

Those are wonderful pictures! I love that second one...and I can see the wood chips in the air in the first photo. I just can't get good bird pics!

Threadspider said...

This is a fantastic series of posts-I can't wait to see if there are babies soon. There were 4 mallard ducklings on the river in my town today. Such a great time of the year.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I sure hope the starlings don't win the fight for the hole. I hate to see them vieing for RH Woodpecker holes. Not fair that the WP does all the work then the aggressive Starling takes over.

I hope to see RHWoodpecker baby heads sticking out of the hole to be fed in the future.


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