Monday, February 17, 2014

Red-Bellied Woodpecker: Daily Visitor

Mention the word "woodpecker" and my mind instantly replays short memories of a certain little television character- Woody the Woodpecker.  Woody was a popular cartoon series in the 1950's and 1960's and I can still remember watching him and his funny friends on our black and white television set.  I remember the time that my Daddy Charles helped me order a plastic Woody figurine using a cut out cardboard form from a cereal box.  Daddy Charles and Uncle Shelby pitched in to help pay for the shipping...seems like it was only 25 cents.   A quarter went a long way in those days.

Now, a certain little woodpecker comes to visit us nearly every day.  I've observed her several mornings while sitting on the back porch or from my bedroom window.  She is often seen in our back yard first, where she pecks on the tree limbs or the wooden light pole.  Minutes later, she is in the front yard where she makes rounds between the wooden walkway rails to a certain tree near the walkway.  She usually pecks at the same hole on the tree, day after day.  I recorded her briefly a few days ago while she made the routine rounds.  I was trying to figure out if she was trying to hide bird seeds in the tree trunk or using the tree trunk to break the seeds into smaller pieces.   She pecked away busily for several minutes before flying off.  

This little feathered friend of mine is a Red-Bellied Woodpecker.  I know she's a she because of the color patterns on her head.  Males have a red cap that covers the entire top of their heads whereas the female's cap only covers a portion of it and the rest is filled with gray.  Isn't she beautiful?  My photos are a little blurry because I was taking them from inside my bedroom window where I can easily observe her.  

Here's a short video I captured of her from my bedroom window:

I watched this great video of a family of Red-Bellied Woodpeckers- 
the narrator, Samuel Kulp, did a wonderful job of documenting the bird family while giving interesting information on this species of woodpeckers. 

I would love to have a woodpecker family so close...
with luck our little female might just find a partner right here in our own front yard...

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