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.
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.
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.
He quickly flew off. Meanwhile the first one had moved a little higher, paused a moment, then also flew off.
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.
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.
Over and over this Red-bellied Woodpecker peeked out the hole then ducked back in.
Finally he came out and inspected a different hole in the same tree.
Back to hole number one.
Then the chips began to fly.
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.