LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Right Before My Eyes: Part Two


Despite the constant calling from the trees, the mother could not get the little Pileated Woodpecker to fly from the deck railing.  Like a terrible two, the little girl seemed to be saying "NO" and refused to fly into the woods.  So the mother flew down and sat beside her little girl on the deck railing.

[NOTE:  If you enlarge the photograph you will see a difference between the eyes of the juvenile (on left) and the eyes of the adult (on right).  The juvenile has completely brown eyes which will turn yellow as an adult.]

They sat there for a while.  The mother looked as if she might fly at any moment.
She clearly was not comfortable




Unable to encourage the little one to fly, she flew to the suet and returned with a mouth full of food.  The fledgling opened her mouth, ready to be fed.

The mother is still quite uncomfortable in this open spot
She usually feeds the baby in the woods, obscured by branches
She kept looking around before feeding the little one




The baby crouched down ever lower




And the mother fed her

[Unscientific observation:  We have observed that when the fledglings are just out of the nest, the parents feed them from above, dropping the food into their mouths.  When the fledglings are a bit older, the parent goes to a position below them and the fledglings take the food from the parent's mouth.  A position more similar to the time when the juveniles feed themselves.]


Please, Mom.  May I have some more?




So the mother obliged.

After being fed several times, the little Pileated Woodpecker was much more obedient.  When the mother flew off, she took off after her immediately.

We have been treated to many sightings of the Pileated Woodpeckers feeding their young.  And the clumsy attempts of the juveniles to land on the suet.  We have even seen parents with multiples.  But never before (and perhaps never again) have we seen these feedings on the deck rail, right in front of us.

Lucky.  Just lucky.



15 comments:

robin andrea said...

This is such an incredible series of photos. How lucky to have watched this so closely. Fantastic to see this behavior up close like this. I appreciate it so much that you shared it here. Thank you!

KGMom said...

You have a front row seat. Lucky you to witness these marvelous birds.

Ms. A said...

Wonderful shots! Glad you were finally able to get them... and share them with us!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Wow. What a lovely scene to capture and share. (thanks for that!) I'm thinking the young lady was very hungry (or hangry) and this is why she was not following orders....I'm pretty much the same.

Barbara Rogers said...

You did it, and they did it! What a great experience for you to capture. Congrats. And especially thanks for sharing it here with us.

The Bug said...

So very cool!

Tara Crowley said...

Excellent collaboration with your forest friends! These are fascinating photos.

Lowcarb team member said...

What an amazing, and most special series of photographs.
I am so pleased to have been able to see them.

All the best Jan

troutbirder said...

Wow. What an amazing sequence. Your are indeed very lucky. We rare see pileated in our little woods...

Nance said...

So glad you had the presence of mind to capture these images and the willingness to share them here. They are terrific. Thanks!

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. It was definite a rare sighting and one not likely to be repeated.

Louvregirl said...

Wonderful photos of the birds up close! lg :-)

KB Bear said...

Lucky AND photographic skill. Amazing captures, just amazing. Thanks for sharing that heart warming sequence with all of us!

Vicki Lane said...

Thank you so much for all these wonderful photos of the Pileated Woodpeckers. We have them around but never that close.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

How fortunate to have been able to capture this parent and fledgling woodpecker. Hope the young one can be self-sufficient very soon.