Friday, September 10, 2010

Bird Watching Up Close

A female downy woodpecker came to my birdfeeder last weekend. The feeder hangs a few inches from the window. I was inside the house and about six feet away when I started taking pictures. I was within two feet when I took the last of seventeen photos and she flew off the perch.
I didn’t know she was a downy woodpecker until I searched my Birds of Wisconsin Field Guide. Female downys lack a red mark on the back of their heads, otherwise, they’re identical to the males.

Lon had just put a post in the ground on the south side of our house to which he mounted a birdhouse. I was admiring this latest addition to our abundant collection of birdhouses when the woodpecker flew in and began inspecting Lon’s work. Without compliment or criticism, she flew around the corner of the house to the birdfeeder.

I’ve identified a few other birds at my birdfeeder and hope to share my photos and interest in them with you in the very near future.
If you like Black-capped Chickadees, you'll find them in my next post.


Vanessa said...

I wish I could have a bird feeder nearby. However my husband, for some unknown reason, has a major phobia of birds. Weird I know. This spring we had a few geese land on our shop around the time he was due to arrive home from work. I was nice and gave him a call to warn him, although I still laugh every time he ducks and covers as they fly by :)

Shaddy said...

VANESSA: He must have had a traumatic experience with birds years ago, either a movie or a personal encounter.

Show him these pictures. I mean this Downy Woodpecker is just another guy trying to get buff by doing his daily chin-ups on the feeder perch.

Anonymous said...

Oh these guys are so interesting! We have one here too, but I've never been able to get close enough to take pictures, let alone pictures as awesome as these! Great shots Shaddy! WOW!!!

You make me want to get out all of our bird feeders to see what else we can attract.

Shaddy said...

SARIE: I don't seem to scare them too much when I'm inside taking pictures through the window. The feeder is just a few inches from the window and I can often get to within a foot of the window and shoot away.

Lon's always fascinated by birds, whereas, I'm and off and on bird watcher.

Have a great week.

Anonymous said...

We have lots of downy and other types of woodpeckers, but I've never gotten a good shot. Your bird photos in this post and also of the finches are really sharp, clear, and just plain good.

You've given me an idea, though, and that is to put a feeder closer to the window!