Category Archives: Birds

Woodpecker Tree

This dead tree is a favorite with a number of woodpeckers, including a Red-bellied Woodpecker pair that was making a nest that I photographed last month.

Red-bellied woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

While I was checking in on that activity on a recent visit a Red-bellied Woodpecker was nearly camouflaged high in the tree along with what I think was a recently fledged family of Downy Woodpeckers. They were a long way up and I couldn’t get an angle for a good image but did catch this one in flight.

Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

Strutting Peacock

Peacocks roam free at Magnolia Gardens as well as Middleton Place that I featured last week. On a recent visit this one was entertaining visitors showing off all of his glorious colors.

Peacock Strutting
Peacock Strutting

Using a small grassy area bordered with flowers as a stage he preformed a dance that was very elaborate, turning in full circles then reversing. If he was trying to impress a peahen it didn’t work as there weren’t any in sight. I was impressed though.

Peacock Strutting
Peacock Strutting

Pileated Woodpecker Feeding Fledgling

Not far from where I saw a Pileated Woodpecker wreaking havoc on the boardwalk to the swamp last week I heard the impressive tat-tat-tat again.  This youngster was frozen in place in a nearby tree and clearly not the origin of the percussion.

Pileated Woodpecker Fledgling
Pileated Woodpecker Fledgling

He flew a little higher just as I spotted the adult again assaulting the underside of the boardwalk railing.

Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling
Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling

The adult flew up to the fledgling and started feeding him some regurgitated material.

Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling
Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling

The chick stuck to his spot and the adult flew off and returned several times, daintily offering the juvenile food.

Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling
Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling

The feeding process was very calm, especially compared to the egrets and herons I had just been watching.

Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling
Pileated Woodpecker and Fledgling

Anhinga Feeding Chicks

Anhingas feed their chicks a little differently than the herons and egrets and it’s a little weird the first time you see it: the young stick their beaks down the adult’s throat to get the regurgitated food.

Anhinga Feeding Chicks
Anhinga Feeding Chicks

Like the herons, the young Anhinga will pull on the adults beak to start the feeding process. This adult had four young in the nest and  the pushiest gets the most food.

Anhinga Feeding Chicks
Anhinga Feeding Chicks

Below you can see the featherless necks of the chicks and how the pouch  at the corner of their jaw. It appears the one on the left is bleeding from a scratch–small wonder with all those sharp beaks.

Anhinga Feeding Chicks
Anhinga Feeding Chicks

I had changed positions trying to get a better view  but they all kept dipping down below the branches.

Anhinga Feeding Chicks
Anhinga Feeding Chicks

04/20/2018

Red-bellied Woodpecker Housekeeping

Over and over this Red-bellied Woodpecker peeked out the hole then ducked back in.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Finally he came out and inspected a different hole in the same tree.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Back to hole number one.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Then the chips began to fly.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

The light colored feathers on this woodpecker are much darker grey than others I have seen. I saw the pair at this same tree the week before and thought their color was different, but couldn’t be sure as the light was poor. Zoom in on the image below to see his face and body feathers.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

On The Boardwalk

I still get excited when I see a Pileated Woodpecker and to have one land on the boardwalk railing was a treat. They look pre-historic and check out those feet!

Pileated Woodpecker on Boardwalk Railing
Pileated Woodpecker on Boardwalk Railing

I’d guess he’d been to this spot before as he wasted no time dropping down over the edge.

Pileated Woodpecker on Boardwalk Railing
Pileated Woodpecker on Boardwalk Railing

He bobbed up and down, gave just a few pecks on the wood, and was eating something.

Pileated Woodpecker on Boardwalk Railing
Pileated Woodpecker on Boardwalk Railing

I have seen Carpenter Bees flying and hovering around this area for weeks. The substance the Pileated Woodpecker was eating wasn’t distinctive, but may have been bee eggs laid in the wood.

Pileated Woodpecker on Boardwalk Railing
Pileated Woodpecker on Boardwalk Railing

I forgot about looking over the edge after the woodpecker left for what would be a perfectly round hole made by the Carpenter Bee when a bright yellow bird zipped along in the other direction.

Anhinga Drying Off

Anhingas often climb into trees with branches that hang over the pond for drying off. I’ve more frequently seen them down close to the water but this one was over my head giving an interesting view of his very long body.

Anhinga
Anhinga

From this view you can the sharpness of the beak, clearly adapted to spearing fish.

Anhinga
Anhinga

They are often vocal, making a low croaking sound, likened to a frog with a soar throat by Cornell’s All About Birds.

Anhinga
Anhinga