Saturday, August 22, 2009

Red Headed Woodpeckers

Should you follow my humble blog you know of my affinity for red headed woodpeckers. This weekend at the lake they were loud and raucous, flitting back and forth in their typical undulating flight through the tree canopy. High above our deck in a nearby tree RHW's have created a condominium in a dead branch having drilled out at least three nest holes.

Mom was busy in a particular part of the tree and I discovered why. She flew in carrying a huge bug in her beak and methodically dispatched the creature in a bowled out area of the tree. The bug was repeatedly pummeled by her deadly beak and ground up into a buggy stew.

For there's a baby to be fed.

She gently feeds her baby the buggy stew.

The baby waits for more. If you enlarge the photo you can see the baby's head is beginning to show some of the red coloration. These are really more RHW teenagers. They act like teenagers, that's for sure.

The impatient baby RHW goes to the bug bowl for leftovers.

Mom returns with another bug and I now see two babies!

There is a distinct pecking order among the babies. Enlarge and look at the top baby's face.

One is clearly dominate and the other moves aside to wait his turn.

The dominate baby RHW now looks crossly at mom, who is apparently not fast enough in making the buggy stew.

Last shot of feeding before I had to head indoors to feed my own family. We head back to the city tomorrow, but the red headed woodpeckers will remain in my soul.


Eve said...

This is just great Debi! I had a couple kids that were just a bit older not long ago. They are such beautiful birds with their contrasting colors!

Diane Schuller said...

how delightful Debi. In your neck of the woods they must do 2 nestings of babes. Our season is so short, there's only barely time for one hatching :0

Great to see you continue to be nature focused my bloggy friend

Daniel Spurgeon said...

Great shots, Debi! I'm glad that you were able to record the babies getting fed- very cool! I'm with you- I love Red-headed Woodpeckers!

Bird Girl said...

Oh...oh...oh...!!!! I am so jealous! These pictures are just FANTASTIC when you make them big! The little ones are precious and you did a wonderful job...I love seeing the babies up close! I think you can even see where some red feathers are beginning near the eye??
What a wonderful post - buggy stew and all!

inadvertent farmer said...

A wonderful photo series of your little bird family! Kim

Frances said...

Hi Debi, your RHW shots remain in my sould as well! The clearness of the images, in addition to the subject matter was hypnotic. I wonder of the favored offspring was male or female? Which is more valuable in the world of birds, or is it a gender thing at all? Interesting. Buggy stew, yum. :-)

Denise said...

Wonderful post with such lovely photographs. I popped over from Eve's Sunny Side Up and I have enjoyoed my visit very much.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Aawwww isn't it fun to watch nature in action. What a sweet little family unit. A great capture.

kendalee said...

Beautiful. What a privilege to witness this. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful bird with that bright, crimson hat. :) Stylin' !


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