Category Archives: Birds

Land and Turn

Pelicans don’t look that agile, but you can see by the landing trail in the water that this fellow executed a 90 degree turn as he was hitting the water. I suspect he saw something for lunch!

Brown Pelican Landing
Brown Pelican Landing

We are on day two without internet service but I can log into WP admin with our spotty cell phone data service. I found this post in my drafts from February 2018. I have no idea what my plan for it had been but this seems like a good time to finish the post. I’m still amazed at the way Pelicans can fly and dive.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

The Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are industrious and fun to watch when feeding in plain view.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

This one was in the drinking phase of his routine, from holes previously made in the bark.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Holding still on a short break I got a nice profile view showing off that sturdy beak and beautiful color pattern.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

They tend to circle the tree, moving up and down, enough to make the photographer dizzy guessing where they will reappear.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Red-bellied Woodpecker Pair

I didn’t have a great view when I first spotted this pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers. I was pretty sure the one on the right zipped into that hole while I maneuvered around the tree between us.

Pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers in Tree
Pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers in Tree

I watched for him to come out before turning my attention to the other one as he was pecking on the tree. Then I could hear the second one calling.

Red-bellied Woodpecker in Tree
Red-bellied Woodpecker in Tree

The question then was to keep watching the first subject or risk missing some action there and look for the second. I succumbed to looking and he eventually popped up behind this branch. Or was there the whole time and I just didn’t notice.

Red-bellied Woodpecker in Tree
Red-bellied Woodpecker in Tree

He quickly flew off. Meanwhile the first one had moved a little higher, paused a moment, then also flew off.

Red-bellied Woodpecker in Tree
Red-bellied Woodpecker in Tree

Pileated Woodpecker

I heard a number of woodpeckers as I wandered along the boardwalk though the Bald Cypress forest at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker

The only one I spotted for more than a second was this Pileated Woodpecker who was in view for less then a minute.

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker

I do love that flash of red.

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker

Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
January 2, 2020

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers feed at sapwells, shallow holes they have drilled in tree’s bark.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Like other woodpeckers, Sapsuckers are industrious, and usually their work is in tidy rows.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Check out his sharp beak and the spread of his foot!

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

As the sapsucker worked around the tree additional sapwells came into view.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Click on any photo for a larger view. 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Back Yard

We feed the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in our back yard and I’ve tried off and on this summer with limited success to capture good images. Hurricane Dorian stripped a lot of leaves from the Crepe Myrtle trees which gave me a new opportunity.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

At the feeder the light was just right to see what I think is the start of the ruby-throat on a juvenile.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

This may be the same bird; he was at a different angle so the throat iridescence didn’t show. They fly so fast and three or four were chasing each other making it impossible to keep track.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Kingfisher DIve

This is the first Belted Kingfisher I have seen since last fall and he gave me an amazing, if brief, aerial show.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

When I first spotted him he was hovering over a small pond. Before I could lift my camera he was gone.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

He came back a couple minutes later and I got a second opportunity.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

He hovered for several seconds.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

Assumed the dive position

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

And dove. I never saw him hit the water, actually never saw him again, despite waiting another 15 minutes.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher