Sunday, April 18, 2010

When Woodpeckers Come

We don't often get Red-bellied Woodpeckers at our feeders these days, but when they, the other birds have to make way for them. The other day I watched while a female Red-bellied kept flying in, forcing aside whichever bird was already on the feeder. I ended up with a series of photos showing a Cardinal, a Blue Jay and a White-winged Dove all having to wait while the Woodpecker ate.

The only bird that could make her move aside was - a male Red-bellied Woodpecker. If you look carefully, you can see a little of the redness on the bird's belly that gives this species its name.

We all know that woodpeckers use their tails to brace themselves when climbing trees, balancing on feeders, etc. I was interested to notice
that both Cardinals and Blue Jays sometimes use their tails in the same way to brace themselves while eating from feeders.


1 comment:

Jayne said...

I sprinkle seed along the top of the garden wall, and along the top rail of the fence, instead of in feeders. I found that this way, there's room for more birds and I often see a red-bellied peeking over the top of the wall or hanging on to the fence rail, pecking at seeds, in between the mourning doves, cardinals and blue jays.

I can never tell if I'm looking at a boy or a girl woodpecker though.