Category Archives: Birds

Red-bellied Woodpecker Keeps Trying

The Red-bellied Woodpecker from Wednesday’s Magnolia Seed Berry post kept looking for a place to lodge his find in a dead tree branch above me.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

He picked a pretty lichen covered perch but could not find a useful spot to put that berry.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

A couple of times I thought he had lost it in a hollow place in the branch, but he eventually got it back.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

After a few more unsuccessful tries he scanned for another spot.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker With Magnolia Seed Berry

What a find, now what do I do?

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Looking almost like a cranberry, the berries that contain the Magnolia Tree seeds are pretty hard and this Red-bellied Woodpecker was trying to figure out how to get it open.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Several ideas he had for lodging it in the bark of this tree so he could peck at it did not pan out.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Belted Kingfisher on Water Gate

Water levels in the large pond at Magnolia Cemetery are controlled with this screw mechanism connected to a gate that allows water to drain off into the marsh. I’ve often seen Belted Kingfishers that work the pond for food use it as a perch.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

The Belted Kingfisher’s loud rattling call often helps you locate one, and I had watched one make several zippy trips across the pond without even getting to lift my camera. I took these from the car as we were leaving.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

I got a little closer before another car came and captured this head on view showing off the Kingfisher’s top knot.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

I last photographed a Yellow-billed Cuckoo about two years ago. I spotted one last week and recognized him in flight immediately due to his long, thin body.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

They prefer woodland and the trees he found most appealing were shiny with highlighted leaves behind him.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

He eventually moved to the other side of the path so the sun was shining on him, but didn’t quite get his head out into the light.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

He watched patiently presumably for food, often looking up above him, but I didn’t see him even try to catch anything. After a couple minutes in this spot he moved higher and deeper into the tree line.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

 

Hovering Belted Kingfisher

With amazing flying skill the Belted Kingfisher can hover continuously while eyeing the water below for a fish. I watched this one through two cycles of hover and dive; he didn’t enter the water either time.

Belted Kingfisher Hovering
Belted Kingfisher Hovering
Belted Kingfisher Hovering
Belted Kingfisher Hovering
Belted Kingfisher Hovering
Belted Kingfisher Hovering
Belted Kingfisher Hovering
Belted Kingfisher Hovering
Belted Kingfisher Hovering
Belted Kingfisher Hovering
Belted Kingfisher Hovering
Belted Kingfisher Hovering

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