Photographs by Frank

27 June 2015

Meet the Downy Family

Filed under: Birds,Monadnock Region,Summer,The Yard,Wildlife — Tags: , — Frank @ 6:15 PM

Yesterday (Friday, 26 June) afternoon , just before 2:30, a male  red-bellied woodpecker made a brief appearance at the feeder* and left with a large chunk of suet in his bill. I suspect that he was carrying the choice tidbit off to a nest, but have no proof of that; he headed into the woods at great speed.

After the red-bellied departed, I noticed a male downy woodpecker hanging around fairly high in a nearby spruce tree. I thought it odd that he did not approach the now unoccupied feeder. I watched him move about in the spruce tree for some minutes and then, suddenly, he headed for the feeder.

When I turned my gaze (and lens) to the feeder, I was extremely surprised to find three woodpeckers on the trunk… the adult male I had been watching and two juveniles (a male and a female). The female left within a minute, but I watched the adult male feed the juvenile male for another three or four minutes before the adult took off. The juvenile spent a short interval tentatively feeding itself before it, too headed for the woods..

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Downy Woodpeckers (adult male at top, juvenile male and female)
Downy Woodpeckers (adult male at top, juvenile male and female)
Downy Woodpeckers (adult male in back, feeding male juvenile)
Downy Woodpeckers (adult male in back, feeding male juvenile)
Downy Woodpeckers (adult male on right, feeding male juvenile) #1
Downy Woodpeckers (adult male on right, feeding male juvenile) #1
Downy Woodpeckers (adult male on right, feeding male juvenile) #2
Downy Woodpeckers (adult male on right, feeding male juvenile) #2

* I use custom-made, photogenic suet feeders. These consist of a chunk of tree on a stand to hold it vertically. I drill holes in the “back-side” of the trunk and keep the holes stocked with suet and/or dried meal worms.  There… my secret is out!!!


 

2 Comments

  1. How do you keep the dried meal worms in the hole or is it just more vertical so they don’t tumble out when they feed?

    K

    Comment by Kevin — 27 June 2015 @ 6:53 PM

  2. Well, I was impressed UNTIL I read about your “staged” set-up 🙂 Quite creative.

    That is a great “Three’s a Company” shot! The images of the feeding of the juveniles proved how patience does pay off.

    I have some time to visit your other posting as it is raining here.

    Comment by Joe Kennedy — 28 June 2015 @ 6:35 AM

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