post

Woodpeckers Visiting

photos of male female downy woodpeckers by Arun Shanbhag

Cleaned and fertilized the yard in April; last year I cleaned the yard in June. Within 2 days of putting out the suet feeder we had a birds visiting. Cross-checking with the Audubon field guide, I realized our visitors were Downy Woodpeckers. Every morning as I sip chai, I can see the birds pecking away; then they flit between the oak and walnut trees.

The males have a bright red dash on the nape, have stronger and longer beaks that permit them to pull out ants or wood-boring beetles. The females, sans red, have smaller softer beaks with which they pry the bark and pick up ants or insects. So they go after different food types and don’t compete.

And have you guys watched this live video from the bald eagles’ nest in Decorah? Take a peek as those chicks are growing fast. As one of my friends cautioned, “Arun, my productivity has dropped since you sent me that link.”

Here are some of majestic bald eagles I shot in Alaska. Updates from the Hawk Family outside my office window (from last year).


Here is the female woodpecker doing acrobatics at the suet feeder.
photos of male female downy woodpeckers by Arun Shanbhag

photos of male female downy woodpeckers by Arun Shanbhag

Male woodpecker hanging out on the feeder. I never saw them both on the feeder. Perhaps need to hang another feeder.
photos of male female downy woodpeckers by Arun Shanbhag

photos of male female downy woodpeckers by Arun Shanbhag

Hanging out on the Oak Tree after a nice meal. Took these pics with my 70-300 mm Nikon lens; you can see larger pics of these birds on Arun Eyes
photos of male female downy woodpeckers by Arun Shanbhag

On the oak tree, searching for wood-boring beetles.
photos of male female downy woodpeckers by Arun Shanbhag

Comments

  1. travel bug says:

    Dear Arun, Please tell me you do not apply chemical fertilizer and weed killers to your lawn.
    Unnecessary and one of the top contaminants to waterways is lawn chemicals runoff. Too much nutrients into the waterways creates alagal blooms, uses up all the oxygen and kills marine life…you get the gust you ph.d fella.
    I was reading about recently about how 95% of the indian vulture has been killed due to pesticide use.
    What a shame when you kill the garbage disposers of nature.

    anyhoo love, those woodpeckers. Hope Meera joins you soon to enjoy.

    • No chemicals; I compost everything in the home and with recycling, I only have a small trash bag every 4-6 weeks. 🙂 Still trying to reduce that further. Starting to compost shredded paper and use cloth napkins.
      And, I am reclaiming part of my Lawn to a dense ‘forest’ type area – so less maintenance.

      Yes, I hear about the vultures – so sad.
      Meera, Yes!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Looks like Spring is finally here :).. yaayy!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] out by the suet feeder I put out in the yard. Much fun! See the rest of the pics and writeup here, on my blog. 42.361196 […]

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