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Woodpecker

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Today I saw a fairly large bird, about crow size, fly into the trees across the street. I wouldn’t have paid any more attention except for the spot of bright red on this bird.

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It was a Pileated Woodpecker, a large woodpecker with a bright red crest.

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This was clearly a male Pileated Woodpecker, with his red forehead and red moustache line on each side of his face.

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Here’s a rear view of his crest.

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He landed on another branch where I had a pretty clear full view of him. Look at that spikey crest.

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One more of the Pileated Woodpecker.

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Woodpecker on Saturday

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When I looked over into my neighbor’s yard today I saw a spot of red above black and white stripes in her palm tree.

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It was a Red-bellied Woodpecker–a fairly common woodpecker around here. The amount of red on its head indicated that it was a male.

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Woodpecker inspecting the tree.

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One more of the woodpecker.

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Wednesday Assortment

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This male Red-Bellied Woodpecker was the first thing I saw when I looked out into the backyard this morning. It had the most beautiful red head I’ve ever seen on one of these birds. It almost looks like long red hair combed back off its face.

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I was happy to see the robins hopping around out there.

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Another shot of the robin.

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Overhead there was a Wood Stork. I’ve been seeing Wood Storks every day for the past week or so.

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Wood Stork flying away,

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Big guy on a branch by the fence.

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Giving me a side-glance.

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Woodpecker on Thursday

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A little Downy Woodpecker was in the backyard today. There was a spot of red on its head, which means it’s a male. At first he was picking at the remaining berries on the tree.

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The berries are looking somewhat dried out by now, but the woodpecker didn’t seem to mind.

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Taking one last look at the berries before moving on.

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The little woodpecker moved to another tree where he poked and pecked at the bark.

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And here you can see the woodpecker’s tongue. He has a long tongue that he uses to poke into holes he’s pecked, pulling out insect larvae. He may be pulling something back into his mouth here.

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Woodpecker on Friday

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There are several woodpeckers I’ve seen in our yard: Red-bellied, Pileated, and Downy. The smallest of the three, the Downy woodpecker, is the one I’ve seen most often. There was a Downy woodpecker in the backyard today.

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This little bird is only about 6 to 7 inches long, around the size of a sparrow. The one I saw today had a bright red patch on the back of its head, indicating that it was a male.

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The woodpecker was busy climbing up along branches, studying each branch for places to peck.

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If you look carefully, you can see the bird’s tongue extending from its beak into the spot where it was pecking.

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More poking and pecking as it moved around.

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One more of the Downy woodpecker.

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More Birds on Tuesday

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The Eastern Phoebe was back on the fence today. This is such a pretty little bird.

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Watching for food down below.

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The brightly colored bluebird was back too, sitting on a wire as usual. The lighting was odd, a quickly changing mix of sun and gray clouds, so the bird’s colors look a bit different from the sunny photos of the other day.

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A glimpse of red high up in a tree, and I found a Red-bellied Woodpecker.

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My Max, looking like a very serious, very watchful guard dog. His head is about at my knee level and his bark is more of a yip than something deep and ferocious. But he takes his job  very seriously and is always vigilant, ready to scare off the mailman, the trash truck, the UPS delivery person, etc.

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Another Downy Woodpecker

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There’s no red at all on this little woodpecker’s head, so it has to be a female.

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The woodpecker was up in one of the palm trees, hopping around and inspecting the situation.

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Downy Woodpeckers are very small woodpeckers, only about 6 inches long when fully grown.

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Woodpecker leaning back to look at me.

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One more of the Downy Woodpecker. The lighting is making its chest look darker than it actually was.

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