BREEDING WOODPECKERS

The dying tree in the backyard is full of birds and nests. Many doves live and nest in the tree. It should also be be no surprise that the dying tree (which has been dying for years) is the home to a variety of woodpecker nests.

A mated pair. Red head is the boy and the grey head is mother-to-be

The Red-Bellied Woodpeckers are mating. The big boy Red-Belly picks off juicy pieces of suet and brings it to his lady friend. She isn’t flying much right now because she is full of eggs. Her belly is all bulgy. In the big crook of the tree, you can see bits of their nesting material. It’s just a little too far around the other side for me to get pictures, but I can see piece of bird — a wing, a beak, a head — from time to time.

Last week, there was one day where all the mated pairs of birds were running all over the tree, frantically building nests with the boys flying back and forth to the feeders to make sure mom had enough food.

A chat between husband and wife. She looks upset.

The tree is full of holes from the many woodpeckers who have been happily eating whatever was living in the tree. At least they were last year. This year, the tree doesn’t seem to have bugs. Maybe they managed to eat all of them last summer and fall.

You can almost see the eggs!

We are still trying to find someone to cut down the tree. It a hard one to get cut because it is in a very rough area with no access for a vehicle. I don’t even care if they take down the whole tree. They can just “top it” and leave the bottom stump. I just need the part that’s likely to fall on the deck removed. We keep asking people, but there’s a distinct lack of interest in the project. It looks like a lot of work for not enough money.

Meanwhile, the birds are very happy and love that tree. It has been the birthplace of many of them and will be the birthplace of a entirely new families of pigeons and woodpeckers for the next few weeks.

And in another month, we’ll start to see miniature birds at the feeder as another generation arrives.



Categories: Anecdote, birds, Blackstone Valley, Gallery, Photography, Summer, Woodpeckers

Tags: , , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. Can you just imagine their conversation–she’s pregnant and it is steaming hot outside. “One little piece of suet is not gonna do it, Buster!!”

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  2. Hi Marilyn, beautiful pictures. I’ve never seen a lady bird with eggs in her stomach before. It makes sense, but I never even thought about it. We also had a dead tree in our yard a few years back and it was a nesting ground for the Hadadas. We had to cut it down, but not completely, there is still a long stump, and they were divested of their home. They have made new homes in another tree in our garden which was quite lucky.

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