Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Downy Woodpeckers: Maggie's Family

On May 10th, my blog post was about Maggie, the precious little Downy Woodpecker who visits our feeders frequently.  She always came alone to dine and I wondered if she had a family.  

On June 16th, I heard Maggie calling out in the tree from which the feeders hang.  I scanned the tree, searching for a sign of her.  There she was- hopping along a branch high in the tree, nearly hidden behind the leaves.  Suddenly I heard the high-pitched screech of a baby bird and I saw fluttering wings just below Maggie.  With my eyes focused on Maggie, I watched as she scooted closer to the baby bird.  I then scooped up my camera and tried to zoom in closer, using my lens like binoculars to watch. 

I smiled when I realized that Maggie was indeed feeding a baby downy.  She has a family :) Moments later, a male downy appeared from behind the leaves and I was able to see a fairly clear image of him- the red markings on his nape confirmed his gender.  As he edged along the branch, the fledgling downy followed and I got a brief view of the cutie.  I'm uncertain of the gender of the fledgling because it is too young to presently confirm (bottom right photo above). Imagine my excitement upon seeing this sweet little family together!

As I drank coffee while sitting on my front porch yesterday morning, I watched the male Downy Woodpecker feeding his offspring. He went completely around the branch, picking at insects and bringing them to the mouth of his little one. During this process, the fledgling was learning how to hunt food for itself. So darn cute!!! I had to blur the borders of the photos so the birds could be seen was difficult to see them clearly in all the leaves and tiny branches. I'm still uncertain of the gender of this fledgling- is it the same one in the photos above?  Is there more than one fledgling? I'm presently uncertain.  I should know more in weeks to come, in future visits to our feeders and nearby trees. 

I'm absolutely captured by all the beautiful bird families that visit my front them!  

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