I last wrote about Winnie & Woody (the Red-Bellied Woodpecker pair) on April 23rd. Since then, they too have been busy nesting and caring for their first brood of the season.
My first view of their fledgling was captured on June 4th, as I watched Winnie feed him. Notice his pale colored beak and cap feathers- soon he will look so much like his father it will be hard to tell the difference between the two.
I had quite a few giggles for a couple of weeks while watching the fledgling make attempts to balance himself on the feeders. The little woodpecker was short on his jump from the tree to the feeder a few times, landing close to the tree bottom. He also occasionally lost his grip on the feeder and fell off. Fledglings are so clumsy, as are toddlers when they take their first steps. It doesn't take them long to catch on, however, then you can hardly keep up with them.
By the end of June, the young woodpecker had learned to fly well, maneuver himself on the feeders and watch for predators. The feathers on his cap, nape and belly have gradually changed to a pale rusty-orange color. As he grows, they will become bright red, one of the defining marks of his species.
Like his parents, he makes daily visits to our bird feeders. Actually, he makes several visits daily, and I don't mind at all :)