Red-Bellied Woodpecker and Downy (or Hairy?) Woodpecker (female)
Melanerpes carolinus & Picoides pubescens
So I put up a new type of feeder the other day and the birds have finally take to it! I was really excited to get this type (suet) because I had a feeling it would get some more woodpeckers close up, whereas I’m usually viewing them from below as they peck away at the tall trees down by the river.
I snatched up my camera straight away when i saw the crimson-headed, yet oddly named, Red-bellied woodpecker- I’d never seen one so near, and their colouring is among the greats here in my backyard. Up there with the blue-jays and cardinals, but more of a treat due to rarity! I found this guy to be particularly majestic, but it was also quite early in the morning so most active things end up looking majestic to my tired eyes…
The other equally beautiful yet monochrome visitor pictured is a female Downy woodpecker, a rather more common sight around these parts if you’re actually looking. They are strikingly similar looking to hairy woodpeckers, so it’s possible I’ve mis-identified, however the beak does look to be on the shorter side. The male, like it’s Red-bellied cousin, has a dot of red colouring on it’s poll. Not nearly as flashy or gaudy, but it’s enough to let you know what you’re looking at.
I’ve never heard the call of either of these birds, as their giveaway tends to be the distinctive and repetitive beak-against-wood. Or if you’re like me you’ll get one right above your head and be alerted by falling tree debris…
I’ll do a more detailed profile of each of these birds individually one of these days, but for now I’ll keep this entry more brief because it was unanticipated!
Curiosity as always calls my name and so i leave you with these youtube videos demonstrating the calls of these two lovely birds :)
Turns out I’ve heard both of these, just out of context! It’s nice to put a voice to the bird.
Until next time my backyard birding friends!