Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘woodpecker’

When it comes to woodpeckers, I often hear them before I see them. Sometimes it is a gentle tapping sound, but at other times it sounds as loud as a jackhammer.

I spotted this little Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) on Wednesday morning at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. He was slowly making his way up the tree in a spiral pattern, stopping periodically to probe for insects. I tried to track him as he moved in and out of view and was happy to capture a few relatively unobstructed shots.

Normally, it is best to capture a subject when its eyes are looking more or less in your direction. I, however, are more attracted to the first photo below in which the little woodpecker is looking away and slightly up. Perhaps he had seen or heard something that caught his attention, but I like to think that he was taking a break in order to daydream. Perhaps he too was longing for Paris.

Woodpeckers are industrious by nature, though, so after his short pause, he was back to work, slamming his head against the unforgiving wood. It is what woodpeckers do—hopefully that does not sound like your job.

Downy woodpecker

downy woodpecker

 

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Downy Woodpeckers (Dryobates pubescens) are the smallest woodpeckers in North America.  They more than make up for their lack of size, however, with their inexhaustible energy. Their constant motion makes them fun to watch, but a challenge to photograph.

I spotted this male Downy Woodpecker earlier this week at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. How do I know that it is a male? The males of this species have a little patch of red on the back of their heads and in each of these photos you get a small peek at the red on the head.

 

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

If you talk to your dentist, you’ll certainly be told that cavities are bad, but your perspective might change if you were a bird. I am not sure if this Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) was checking out potential nesting sites yesterday morning at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge or merely looking for insects, but it sure did give this tree cavity a careful examination.

There was definitely no need to fill this cavity.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

The red on the back of the head of this Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) seemed to be a perfect match for the colorful fall foliage this past Friday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Autumn is my favorite season of the year and the weather on the day that I took this shot was almost perfect—even the woodpecker seems to be smiling.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

When the lighting was as dim as it was Saturday morning at Huntley Meadows Park, it felt like I was shooting in black and white. Fortunately there was a bit of color in the head and eyes of the little male Downy Woodpecker that I spotted high in the trees, framed wonderfully by the surrounding branches.

Downy Woodpecker

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Every creature enjoys a brief moment at the top, even this humble little Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) yesterday at Huntley Meadows Park. After working diligently at the lower levels of the tree, the woodpecker climbed to the top to enjoy the scenery and to rest for a short while.

All too quickly it was time to go back to work for this tireless and energetic little bird.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Sometimes I have this feeling that the birds and other creatures that I photograph are playing games with me. On Monday this Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) seemed to be playing peek-a-boo with me at Huntley Meadows Park. It was hiding at the top of a broken-off tree and at irregular intervals would show its face for just a split second and then immediately pull it back.

As I look at the woodpecker’s head I can see streaks of brown, rather than the solid red of an adult, suggesting that this may be a juvenile redhead—maybe that’s why it likes to play games.

Red-headed Woodpecker

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »