Tag Archives: Woodpecker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker All In

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are named for their behavior of drilling small  holes in trees then drinking the sap that runs into the wells. They get most of their food that way but also feed on insects they find under tree bark.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

I’ve seen them peck at bark, mostly on the rough-barked trees and was surprised to see this one bobbing into a tree cavity. He was just about disappearing from my view as he reached in.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

I didn’t see what, if anything, the Sapsucker was finding, but he kept at it for longer than I watched.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Camoflage

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers visually blend into the surface of the rough-barked trees. These two images were taken in different places over a month apart.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

I heard the tat-tat-tat of pecking at the bark first, then watched for the flash of red to help me spot them. Sapsuckers tend to spiral around the tree looking for food, sometimes at a pretty fast pace leaving the photographer to guess where they will pop back around.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Red-bellied Woodpecker Still Trying

The Red-bellied Woodpecker didn’t give up with his Magnolia Seed Berry.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

There must be a spot in this thick barked tree to lodge this berry!

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Even when he found a spot he wasn’t satisfied, and this time he may have lost it for good.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

The ground was covered with these Magnolia berries so he could easily try with another.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

This is the third and final post in this series.

See the first post here: Red-bellied Woodpecker With Magnolia Seed Berry

See the second post here: Red-bellied Woodpecker Keeps Trying

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

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

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

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.