CHATTING AT THE FEEDER – Marilyn Armstrong

The one bird we are never short of around here are woodpeckers. We have at least five kinds. Only three of them come to the feeders: the little Downy Woodpecker, his big brother, the Hairy Woodpecker, and the Red-Bellied Woodpecker. The Red-Belly is the biggest of the bunch, but by physical size, the Blue Jay is a bigger bird.

I never realized what large birds Blue Jays are until I saw how big they are compared to the rest of our birds. Not, of course, counting the really big woodpecker who I see in the distance once in a while and the hawks and eagles.

Anyway, when the Blue Jay drops by for a meal, the other birds say “Yes sir, Mr. Jay,” and flutter off. Today, while big Mr. Jay was enjoying a little dinner, the Red-Belly decided to come by for a snack too. The Blue Jay is bigger, but other birds just don’t mess with the woodpeckers. Those birds have long beaks and hard heads and they are always in a grumpy mood. I think that’s from pounding their heads into oak trees all day long.

This is a series of pictures I got from the rather amusing event.

Blue is already there when the Red-Bellied Woodpecker arrives.

“Can we talk about this?” asks Mr. Jay.

“I don’t think so. How about you leave?” says Woody.

“This is MY feeder,” says Woody. “Take a flyer.”

“Okay, then. I’ll be flying a bit. See you around the woods,” says Jay.

The Red-Belly hung around for a while, it being dinner time. And when he was done, the Blue Jay came back and had his dinner too.  All was well but for some flurrying of feathers. As go the birds, so goes the world.

Categories: birds, Birds, Blackstone Valley, flying, Marilyn Armstrong, Photography, Wildlife, Woodpeckers

Tags: , , , , ,

28 replies

  1. I certainly wouldn’t mess with anything that could hammer its way through a tree.


    • I just watched TWO Blue Jays try to take on ONE Red-bellied Woodpecker. There was a few seconds of face-off and then the big bad blue jays headed for other trees. Those little woodpeckers have double strength skulls and a beak that can tear the bark off an oak tree.

      I’m pretty sure the bad attitude comes from pounding on trees all day. They probably have permanent migraines.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How cool to see that interaction and get the photos!! Our back yard has been empty. Even white wing doves are sparse if at all present. I know they will come back.


  3. I bet that was what happened….


  4. What a stellar collection of beautiful wildlife. With you shooting so many extraordinary bird photos, I feel even more inferior with my few catches of ‘something interesting’. Up to being on Flickr I had never seen a pic of a jay, BUT on Saturday, while Hero Husband was climbing the stone stairs leading to our house, a couple of green wood peckers of sizeable length and height were flying from one tree from a neighbouring property to our linden trees, and promptly got ‘lost’ in the green-in-green…..
    Wishing you and Garry and very good week!


    • It’s almost as if they really DO disappear. Even the big white owls vanish in a split second. I’ve gotten better at finding them in nearby trees … and the squirrels totally own the Catalpa tree by the deck. I swear the entire tree is covered with squirrels. You see little ears and eyes peering out when you look. I should go chase the lastest squirrel from the feeder, but he looked hungry, so I’ll wait until he has sucked half the contents of the feeder down his hatch. It’s an oak woods, so I don’t know why they can’t seem to find any acorns. Maybe we have such an overage of squirrels there aren’t enough acorns?


  5. Blue Jays are usually ground feeders- so unusual to see both he and the Red Bellied together at a feeder! Wonderful color contrasts!


    • That’s why I got a flat feeder. We get quite a few ground-feeding birds. Doves and Cardinals are also (mostly) ground feeders, so they always head for the flat feeder. The woodpeckers are just hungry all the time. They are the squirrels of the bird world. Sometimes, they hang around both feeders all day. ALL of them. They generally don’t like each other, either.


  6. Oh, my — you captured some magnificent photos of the two birds — some real keepers!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. They are wondeful photos. I think the jay and the woodpecker were having a territorial discussion. I wish we had such a variety, but the birds stay up in the woods and don’t come down to the villages


  8. We had lots of Stellar Jays in CA. They were nasty nest-robbers but I did enjoy the sight of them.

    Liked by 1 person

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