Saturday, June 16, 2012

Young Woodpecker

The Red-bellied Woodpecker pair that I’ve been seeing all spring has managed to produce at least one offspring.  This youngster has joined its male parent at the feeder for a lesson on consuming sunflower seeds.  It waits on the branch while its father fetches the food.

The parent begins by selecting a sunflower seed from the feeder.

The selected morsel is carried up to the dead tree trunk to be deposited into the male bird’s preferred seed shelling hole.  The woodpecker never fails to have a good look around before placing the seed into the hole.

The hole may be a way of safeguarding the secret to shelling sunflower seeds.  More likely, it just holds the seed in place while the bird breaks in to remove the meat.

As the parent works, the youngster moves closer in anticipation of being fed.

The parent is quite practiced at opening sunflower seeds and has a meal ready in seconds.  The young bird gets its food and the parent hops back down to the feeder to begin the process again.  After about a dozen seeds, the pair went to the ground for some cracked corn.  At last they headed off to the trees, hopefully to balance their diet with some more natural food items.

A Camera Critters submission.


  1. A deck railing outside my office window is kept stocked with sunflower seeds. This week, Papa RbW carried seeds to a seam in the railing and cracked them open before sharing with Baby RbW. We had a great time watching them.

  2. Great sighting and captures. I love the woodies.

  3. Birds are photographed beautifully in each shot. Especially love the close-up of the first one.

  4. Sweet!!!! And I bet it's a THRILL to be able to watch them and their little offspring. [love the cardinal too]

    kiskadee & more

  5. What amazing pictures. So gorgeous.

  6. That's amazing, and I love the story you told here!

  7. very cute pale-headed young one. :)

  8. What a great series! Wonderful. I truly enjoyed this!

  9. Hi Jain. You’re lucky to have such a nice distraction outside your office window. In fact, since so many people don’t have them at work, you’re lucky to even have a window.

    Thanks Snap.

    Hi Eileen. They are a lot of fun to watch.

    Thanks Kate.

    Hi Anni. I always enjoy watching the parents and their youngsters.

    Thanks Ladyfi.

    Thanks Icy BC.

    Thanks Jane.

    Thanks Pat.

    I agree Theresa. As I watched his face, I kept getting the impression that the only thing he knew for sure was that he was being fed. Everything else was a mystery.

    Thanks Lois. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  10. I like to hear woodpeckers in the woods, but one picked our cabin to peck a few years back. They sure can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. - Margy

  11. Hi Margy. I've seen them work on houses and they sure can tear things apart in a hurry. Fortunately, they haven't bothered our house yet. For several weeks the male in the picture drummed on our gutters at first light each morning. He didn't hurt the house, but the occupants had a few startling awakenings during that time.