Saturday, February 16, 2013

Downy Woodpecker: Flash of red and hollow knocking

Walking past a stand of trees this morning, I heard the characteristic woodpecker knock-knock-knock. I paused, walked back, and saw a Downy Woodpecker enthusiastically working his way up and down and around the low branches.

Male Downy Woodpecker with red flash; photo © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved
Male Downy Woodpecker with red flash  © Shelley Banks

Did he see me? I'd like to think so, because he certainly managed to find a continuous supply of twigs and stumps to hide behind — each time, just when I thought I had succeeded in framing the classic, full-length-with-checkered-feathers woodpecker shot with my camera.

And when not in hiding, this Downy moved at feather-blurring speed, rapidly bobbing his head as he rapped his beak into tasty spots on the bark. (There's even an after-image red halo behind his head, above.)

What is this bird? A male Downy Woodpecker (males are the ones with the red heads) 
Location: Near Muenster, Saskatchewan. 
Photo dates:  February 16, 2013


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