Sunday, June 3, 2012

downy woodpeckers in training!!

post #88
fledgling practicing patience
     Today's post just has to be the series of photos I took Thursday of a downy woodpecker feeding his chicks, near our bird feeder.   This fascinating event was not expected!  We have witnessed other fledglings over the years, but never downy woodpeckers.  I start with the photo I took first after realizing this activity was going to continue for awhile. 

Dad (Mom?) doing food prep

Don't forget I am RIGHT here and hungry!

Bon appetit, mon petit

Hey, I'm here too!
In fact, now we are BOTH waiting!


Then, the next morning, there was more feeding going on!  I don't know whether this is a different fledgling or whether red feathers appeared overnight.  Does anyone know the answer to that one?  Could feathers grow that quickly?  I have learned this weekend that bird parents teach and care for the fledglings for a couple of weeks.  However, over the years, we have observed that the intense training near the bird feeder is very short and much too easily missed.

fast food

The back story: the experience of doing these photos was enhanced by having my visiting-from-afar 3 1/2 year old granddaughter with me throughout.  I may have a few shots here that are not as sharp as I would like but I really loved talking with her about what was happening, in a fledgling sort of way.  She is a patient kid, and all the comings and goings kept things interesting for us both.  The light happened to be good -- late afternoon clouds -- and the bathroom we were in had a pretty clean window.   The glass didn't interfere too much plus it kept our conversations from being intrusive.  Of course the birds were mostly focused on food, so they took no notice of us.  All in all amazing.  I am thankful.

1 comment:

  1. Love this, Ann! We just had two weekends with our Molly (age 3) and I do love it. All that curiosity and blossoming of personality and knowledge. And ENERGY! We are exhausted but happy! I would love to have woodpeckers fledge in my line of sight! We have them come to the feeder and of course they empty it in no time. Mostly red bellied and pileated (sp?) We love Downton Abbey too. Can't wait for Season 3!