LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Monday, July 14, 2008

Who is this bird?

Wait a minute. Of course I know WHAT bird this is. (A Red-bellied Woodpecker.) I just don't recognize the bird. It has a break in the red, but the break is not wide or clearly defined as one might expect for a female.

Is it a female with a small break, or a male not completely filled in? It is clearly not our Rosey, who has a much wider break in the red, and much more rosy cheeks. It's not Big Red whose red is bright and unbroken. And it's not this year's baby, since the baby still has a gray head.

The bird is somewhat smaller than a full-grown adult. Is it a juvenile from last year? I'll show you the pictures and let you decide. I know some of you are far more expert than I.







I'm not sure if the Downy recognizes the various Red-bellied Woodpeckers. But he is taking no chances. He's been chased out deep into the woods by Big Red often enough. He clings closely to the tree hoping he won't be noticed.
So, the bird ate plenty of food and then took off quickly so that I couldn't see the tail feathers. It's been almost three days and I haven't seen her or him again. I wonder what Big Red might have done had he seen another Red-bellied in his territory.
And, I must admit to myself...when you wonder about unknown birds (i.e. not one of "ours") do you perhaps need to get more of a life?

9 comments:

KGMom said...

No--no need to get more of a life, when you wonder about birds.
Though I will be no help, one of your readers is bound to know the answer--and will help.

Shellmo said...

Gosh - it looks like a male juvenile to me - the red crown goes far enough for the male. They're so beautiful!
I think observing,learning and appreciating birds means you do have a life! :-)

Jayne said...

LOL Carolyn... funny how we can get to know "our" birds from others at the feeders!

The Birdlady said...

Ah - what better life could one hope to have?

Kerri said...

No better life could be had than observing birds and nature!
I have no idea about the woodpecker..except to say that he is beautiful!

ADVENTURES IN NATURE said...

I love your bird pics, and what are you doing to attract so many woodpeckers?! I love them and I have had a few visit the feeders for awhile but they tend to stay away for the most part. I can hear them off in the distance but they seem to only come around for a bite from the feeders now and then. Love your pics from the Blueridge parkway - keep posting as it's my only way to see that area, I don't travel that direction often! (I'm in south central Texas)

dguzman said...

Beautiful photos! Red-belly looks very young.

Bird Girl said...

Funny how you get to know your birds...and when something is different you know immediately! That bird sure is a beauty! and I love the little guy in the last shot! Awesome pictures!

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks, all. It's nice to know that life with birds really is a life. And to know that others get acquainted with their regulars.

Shelley - I think you are correct. Despite the break, there is an awful lot of red there.