Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Winnie the Woodpecker has a Beau!

In my February 17th post, I mentioned that I would like to see our little female woodpecker find a mate.  It wasn't long afterward that indeed a good looking male showed up with her.  Since then, I've observed this pair quite a bit because they're frequent visitors to our bird feeders.  They've become more accustomed to my presence on the front porch and don't hesitate to visit the feeders with me around.  

The female Red-Bellied Woodpecker is in the photo on the left, while the male is on the right.  How does one distinguish the differences in male and female Red-Bellied Woodpeckers?  The female has a red nape and a small spot of red near her bill, whereas the male has a red forehead, cap and nape.  Notice the female's red top is only about half as long as the males.  His extends from his bill to his nape. 

I've become so fond of the pair that I've decided to call them Winnie and Woody.  My hubby thinks I'm a little crazy for naming them, but that's okay.  So be it.  ;)   

It is truly entertaining to watch these two.  They creep along the wooden railing looking for nuts which may have fallen from feeders.  Sometimes Woody sits upon the rail and stares up at the feeder, as if he's trying to scope out a plan to break into it.  They also hunt insects in the tree bark.  Sometimes one will wait in a certain spot on the tree and listen for insect noises then tap upon the bark with their beak in an effort to shake the insects loose.

Their favorite nuts are peanuts, whether shelled or not.  I've seen them stop in, grab a large unshelled peanut and take off.  Other bird enthusiasts report that their woodpeckers love suet.  I purchased a suet cake but neither one took from it.  One morning I found pieces of the suet cake on the other side of the yard...apparently another critter was more attracted to it.

More photos of these two to come... 

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