LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Red-bellied Woodpecker

We have a nesting pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers on our property. They have two fledglings which I have been unable to photograph. They bring the fledglings to a tree not far from the suet feeder, but always seem to hide them behind the leaves. Perhaps when they are a bit older, they will come closer to the feeder.
This is their home:


The nesting cavity is about 30 feet from the ground.

The female grabs some suet to feed the little ones:

We call her Rosy, because she has more red on her cheeks than most females.

This is the male. You may notice the Downy on the other side of the suet feeder. I assure you the Red-bellied has no idea he is there. He is notorious for chasing the Downys away and through the woods. We call the male Big Red, or Big Red Bully. He chases everyone except the Pileated Woodpeckers away from the suet.

I cannot tell you how much time I spent trying to get a photograph of Rosy or Big Red going into the cavity before the little ones fledged. It is possible they might have another brood this summer. If my neck holds up, I'll keep trying.

My neighbors who have seen them at our feeders call them Red-headed Woodpeckers. Yeah, the same neighbors who call the Pileated "Woody Woodpecker". Sometimes I just let it go. It's so much easier that way.

9 comments:

Shellmo said...

Loved your photos of the red bellied! I watched one slam a sparrow to the ground before when it tried to come to the feeder.

KGMom said...

Yes, I can see the rosy cheeks.
Woody Woodpecker? Does your neighbor know that is a cartoon character?!

Ruth said...

I hope you get to photograph the youngsters and share the pictures with us. I seldom see these woodpeckers. I have a few very blurry pictures taken towards the treetops.

The Birdlady said...

Love those big bullies! And I'm glad other supposedly sane people "name" their birds!

Kerri said...

These are great! We name the birds that come to our feeder too!

Jayne said...

"If my neck hold up..." LOL! Know the feeling well. :c) They are so beautiful, aren't they?

MicheleRF said...

I bet the red-bellied babies will come to your suet soon. I had one earlier in the week along with an immature downy and an immature hairy. Hat Trick!!

NCmountainwoman said...

Shelley - thanks. Last year he was not this aggressive.

Donna - Actually, my neighbors think I am a bird "expert." Which is rather scary.

Ruth - I'm sure we will get a better view as they grow.

Helen - Yes, I have to admit that we name birds. But we name only those we can identify. Few of the Goldfinches or Chickadees have names.

Kerri - Another sane person who names birds.

Janyne - They are indeed beautiful and we are blessed to have them around.

Michele - I think you are right. We'll see more of them.

Leedra said...

Great woodpecker photo, such color. They are so hard to capture in my area. Great blog.