LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

On a Brighter Note...

 
We're having more sunshine and it is most welcome.  Mostly afternoon and evening thunderstorms with more sun during the day.
 
We are really fortunate this year to have at least three pairs of Pileated Woodpeckers who come to our suet feeder with their fledglings.  We can identify one of the adults by his/her bald head.  Yes, bald head down to the neck.  So bald you cannot tell if it's a male or female.  So we see this weird bird feeding a chick.  Yesterday we noticed a red line at the top of its head so we hope the feathers are growing back.  We have another pair who had two fledglings and sometimes we see all four of them in the trees at once.  The third pair had only one fledgling.
 
We can tell when the birds have hatched by the feeding frenzy with the parents grabbing large amounts of suet and rapidly flying off into the deep woods.  Later, we can see the fledglings down in the woods as the parents feed them.  As time passes, the parents bring the fledglings closer and closer to the deck.  There is a tree quite near the suet and this is the usual feeding place.  The parent will eat and then will fly to the tree to feed the youngster.
 
This little one waits for his lunch.
He preens his gorgeous feathers while he waits.
 

 
 
Camera at the ready, I stood silently watching, waiting to capture the moment of feeding.  Wouldn't you know?  The silly little bird scrambled toward the back of the tree and all I got was the parent's back, leaning down to feed.
 
Curses!  Foiled again.

No matter how often we see these wonderful birds, we always stop and look.  And listen to their jungle-like cries in the woods.

And so life is good.  It's always better in the mountains.  Closer to reality than Raleigh.


13 comments:

Rae said...

Birds are intriguing characters to watch. Your life in the mountains sounds wonderful - well, except for that rain:)

Ms. A said...

Woodpeckers are something we don't see very often and on the very rare occasion I do, I never have my camera.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I never tire of watching nature...and you have a lovely vantage point. Great photos. Also? A great escape from reality.

Carolina Linthead said...

Love your Pileated Woodpeckers! They make a lot more sense that goings-on in Raleigh, for sure.

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

I am enthralled with the photos of all the birds at your home! They are beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

Arkansas Patti said...

That is an awesome capture with the feathers spread. Just wonderful.
Love those Pileated and miss them here in the Ozarks. Nary a one so far while Florida had many.

The Bug said...

I really think that some birds know that we're trying to get their picture & they foil us just for fun (our cardinals are a case in point). What fun to try though!

robin andrea said...

Love seeing your Pileated feeding their young. They are such beautiful birds. We have a few families here. We hear them, but don't often see them. Glad you are having sunshine again!

merrilymarylee said...

Love the photo of the preener. I've never seen that; maybe our woodpeckers are slobs.

Did you see the blurb about the governor taking the plate of cookies out to the protestors? How's that for a "not going to listen to you. Have a cookie, little lady, and go home" attitude Oh... and he sprinkled in several God bless you's.

How insulting!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Have not seen a woodpecker clearly enough to get a good photo, so you are not alone.

troutbirder said...

Wow! Three pairs. I've never though occasionally I see them in a State Park about fifteen miles away...

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Suz - Oh yes, a blessed respite from other goings on.

merrily - Yes, I was totally disgusted with the gratuitous cookies from the gov. How distasteful, condescending and insincere.

Janet QueenofSeaford said...

I really enjoy the Pileated Woodpeckers. They are grand when they fly through the woods.