LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Feeding the Pileated Fledgling...Kinda, Sorta

We've been watching the Pileated Woodpeckers feeding their one fledgling for several weeks now. Invariably they feed the baby on the other side of a tree, or with the leaves obscuring them. Thus no photographs.

The parents are bringing the little one closer to the suet, perhaps as a step in teaching her to feed herself. Finally, an opportunity to photograph them.

The "little" woodpecker flies to the tree with her mother.

She turns around and opens her mouth in anticipation.

Drat! Mom feeds the baby all right, but positions herself directly behind the fledgling. You must look closely to see that there are in fact two birds.


There are two birds in this photograph as well.


Here they are...mom and baby. We have noticed that the fledglings appear to have completely dark eyes with hardly any sclera visible. The adults appear to have a more clearly defined iris and sclera. We have researched this and haven't been able to find anything at all to confirm this casual observation. If you know anything about this, I'd appreciate the information.




The fledgling clings to the tree waiting for more food. I suspect that this little woodpecker will be feeding herself soon. I hope I can capture her attempts to fly to the suet.

24 comments:

Cicero Sings said...

While we have pileateds around here ... I've never seen any fledglings. Lucky you.

Melissa Weisbard said...

Too cute! I rarely see fledglings on my feeder.

robin andrea said...

It will be quite a momentous occasion when this little one flies to the feeder. Really nice documentation of the parents' efforts.

Dog_geek said...

I'm so jealous of your close encounters with the Pileated woodpeckers! I've seen the ones living in our woods several more times, but don't usually get close up looks.

troutbirder said...

This is really really neat! We have pileateds in our area but never at the suet feeder.

kks said...

.....and her mowhawk isn't at high!
interesting observation...very cool shots, thanks for such a close look!
hugs to the goldens, from their wisconsin relatives!

grammy said...

Hi, catching up today. Love the bird picture and all about Ellie being six. love Errma Bombeck on fathers (o:

Shellmo said...

I love how the pileated fledging's crown of red hair stands up - so cute!!

Cedar ... said...

very cool pictures!

Cheryl said...

What beautiful photographs...such stunning looking birds......
love the hair....do you think it will catch on???

Leedra said...

Wonderful series of photographs. Such a hard bird to capture, at least in my area. Loved seeing all of them, would be such fun to watch the family.

scienceguy288 said...

Even the fledgelings are huge. I must admit that I could not really tell the difference.

TSannie said...

What wonderful photos! I've only seen a pileated once and that was in Missouri at my folks home. Wonder if they're even in Connecticut.
What magnificent birds!

Kerri said...

Wonderful captures!!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Carolyn, Great pictures of the Pileated.. I've never seen a baby before. CUTE!!!!

Happy Birthday to Ellie. I enjoyed reading about her and her history. You are so lucky to have such a wonderful dog. I know you know that!

Have you all ever driven to Dillard to eat at the Dillard House??? It's quite an experienc. For about $22 each (plus tax and tip) you will have enough good food for about 3 meals!!!! Can't beat that.. I'll blog about it tomorrow.

Have you been to Tullujah Gorge??? VERY nice.

Hugs,
Betsy

Kallen305 said...

I am oooohing and awwwwwhing here in my office!!!! You are so lucky to be able to witness something as special as that w/ your own two eyes. Awesome pics!

fishing guy said...

Carolyn: Those are wonderful captures from nature at its finest. You are going to have to move to the side to get that feeding shot.

Tina said...

Wow!..these pictures are wonderful!!
How lucky for you to see a fledgling up close..I was thrilled to see the family I watched..and I was watching from far away!!
Neat captures.. I sure hope she comes to your suet feeder..that would make a great photo!

Twisted Fencepost said...

Beautiful pictures!
I never see any woodpeckers around here, although I do hear them quite often.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments folks.

Cicero - Last year the pileateds had two fledglings but only one this year.

Science guy - The fledgling is almost the same size as the adult.

Betsy - We haven't been to Dillard House although we have been to similar ones with all that bounty. We have indeed been to lovely Tullujah Gorge. Rugged country.

jayedized said...

Those are the best pictures! I especially like the two together (would not have known it had you not pointed it out!) I would be thrilled to just see that (can't imagine how much fun it would be to get pics!) We have many Pileateds around, and I often wondered why they never visit feeders here (eastern NC) yet they seem to visit feeders in the western part of NC. All I can think is... too many bugs here in all this hot! LOL!

About that observation on the sclera...that is very, very interesting (the kind of interesting that'll have me "Googling") No wonder I stay so far behind - teehee. Anyhow..the first thing I thought about when you pointed that sclera observation out was the nicitating membranes on frogs (and how that membrane covers the eye to protect it during feeding). I wonder if it could be something like that.... ?? Whatever it is, it certainly is observable in that fledgling. Great observation!

Sheesh... here it is Fri afternoon, and I'm stuck on searching on scleras and membranes ... teehee. Speaking of Fridays, I have to go see those Golden Gals! Have a great weekend.

Busy Bee Suz said...

These are such great pictures. I know nothing about these guys, but loved reading your thoughts and comments. It is great how all parents take good care of their babies!!!

RuthieJ said...

Those are such great pictures! I love their crests that look like "Don King" hair!

SweetAnnee said...

awesome , awesome, awesome
I have YET to get a pic of
the Pileated..I'm patient.