We have at least two pairs of Pileated Woodpeckers (and perhaps three pairs) who regularly come to our suet feeders. We knew they had nestlings because the birds would eat, then grab a mouthful of suet and fly off. Last week we saw our first fledglings. They were being fed deep in the woods.
Now the fledglings are coming a bit closer and I've tried time and again to capture them being fed. I saw one of the "babies" sitting patiently on a branch. They are as big as the parents, but they seem to have more puffed up tufts of red hair. And the pupils in their eyes are so big they seem to be dilated.
The fledgling is sitting in full view. The parent is at the suet feeder.
I've got the camera at the ready.
Just at the right time to snap the photograph. The parent flies back. But instead of landing on the limb beside the fledgling, the parent moves to a limb slightly above it. The baby moves over behind the leaves.
The parent is completely obscured by the leaves.
If only the parent had landed on the same limb and just to the right of the bird...
The little one moves to another limb while the parent goes back to get more suet.
Another great view.
I'm still hoping to photograph the feeding but the odds are getting smaller. The little ones will soon be making their way to get the food for themselves. Even when we fail to get the photographs we want, our birds do give us a great deal of pleasure. Great rewards for a little investment in feeders and suet.
Lucy and I are a bit more cautious when I take her out for the last time before bed. Our neighbor spotted a juvenile (probably a second-year) bear not far from our house. When he got to his own driveway he saw a second bear. Likely the mother is involved with this year's cubs and is sending these two off on their own. The neighbor's spunky little Jack Russell Terrier barked and the bears fled toward the lake. That is good when the bears are fearful of the dogs and humans. Not a smart move by the Jack Russell, but Belle thinks she is a giant and owns her property. I suspect our Lucy would have remained quiet. But I hope I don't find out.
And another reminder that we are wise to bring in the bird feeders every evening. They are placed inside a large closed garbage container in the garage until morning.