We call this the "launching tree." All of our woodpeckers bring their young ones here in the last step before they have to find their own food.
And here is the baby! She is a really big baby and actually seems larger than the parent. Guess it's all that baby fat.
She pokes at the tree while she waits. Good start.
Mom comes back with food, taking great care to position herself in a way that prohibits my getting a good photograph. Much to my frustration, they sometimes move completely behind the tree.
You have to take my word for it. Mom is feeding the big baby.
Compare the sizes. Mom is on the right.
Once again, the mom is feeding the little one. Trust me.
Both birds rest after the third feeding. Baby is hard to see below the mom and moving to the other side of the tree.
Within a few days, the baby will feed herself. We will watch like anxious parents ourselves as she makes her first attempts to get to the suet feeder. She will be amazed the first time Mom leaves her on the launching tree and flies right past her without giving her anything to eat. She will watch and finally decide to try it solo. We watch anxiously until she finally makes it over to get some food. The mother must be watching as well, because if the baby doesn't make any attempt to feed herself, then Mom will come back and give her a bite, hoping that the next time will be more successful.
Here's hoping I am on the deck with my camera.