Photographs by Frank

1 July 2015

Feeding Fledglings

Filed under: Birds,Monadnock Region,Summer,Wildlife — Tags: , — Frank @ 7:00 PM

This morning dawned rainy. The rain varied from a light drizzle to hard downpours most of the morning. About 11, during a brief lull, I decided to brave the elements and set up my camera near the feeders and under my semi-waterproof blind. My patience was tested during one heavy burst of rain, but I was eventually rewarded.

During the roughly ninety minutes I observed our suet feeders this morning, they were visited by white-breasted nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers and red-bellied wood peckers.

There were no signs of last weeks hairy woodpecker juveniles… or, maybe I can not tell them apart from the adults at this point. However, I did observe both adult nuthatches and red-bellied woodpeckers feeding juveniles.

I am unable to tell fledgling nuthatches from the adults by their physical traits.. Behaviorally, it is very easy to tell them apart… the juveniles sit by with their mouths wide open waiting for food to be stuffed in!

As for the red-bellied woodpecker, I suspected that their might be a juvenile nearby as the adult made a number of short trips to the feeder, always leaving with a full mouth. On one of his trips outgoing trips, I was able to follow the adult to a branch fairly high in a nearby tree where the juvenile was waiting.

The total elapsed time for the three frame sequence… less than one second.

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Nuthatchs - Adult (bottom) Feeding Juvenile
Nuthatchs - Adult (bottom) Feeding Juvenile
Red-bellied Woodpeckers - Adult (left) Feeding Juvenile Sequence 1 of 3
Red-bellied Woodpeckers - Adult (left) Feeding Juvenile Sequence 1 of 3
Red-bellied Woodpeckers - Adult (left) Feeding Juvenile Sequence 2 of 3
Red-bellied Woodpeckers - Adult (left) Feeding Juvenile Sequence 2 of 3
Red-bellied Woodpeckers - Adult (left) Feeding Juvenile Sequence 3 of 3
Red-bellied Woodpeckers - Adult (left) Feeding Juvenile Sequence 3 of 3

Experimental video below! I have taken the three still photos shown above and combined them into a very short video. Sorry about the jitter! I was not planning a video when I made the photos and thus did not lock down the tripod… not that I would have had time!


 

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!!!


 

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