30 thoughts on “Readers’ bird photos

  1. How far north are you Diana? According to my bird book the Red-Bellied Woodpecker stays south of the Great Lakes.

    1. During my postdoc in Canada, I remember seeing Red-bellied Woodpecker several times in Toronto and in Rondeau Provincial Park. So I think the species marginally lives north of lake Ontario and Eyrie at least.

      1. Diana, beautiful pictures.
        I’m not sure about what that house finch is thinking, though. Looks like maybe she’s getting ready to do that turn-around-and-poop-in-the-birdbath-before-you-take-off routine : )

        I once had the occasion to hold a flicker. He had hit the window and I think he did recover fully but it is always hard to know once the fly off.
        The interesting thing was how incredibly heavy he was for what I’d expected, and strong his feet were.

        1. The sparrow is sitting on a rain gauge – I assume also pooping in it. 🙂

          I once saved a little male downy wood pecker that must’ve slammed into a window one Christmas. I saw him laying on his back in a snow drift & I think his reinforced beak is the only thing that saved him because for a woodpecker to hit something hard enough to stun him, means he must’ve been flying really fast.

          I put him in a box on my deck & he eventually came to & flew away. Poor guy. I wonder if he had a headache.

          1. Yeah, some of them die later. I have had to deal with a lot of window hits.

            One thing I’ve done is to buy 1/4″ fish seine (from a fishing supply catalog; you can buy it by the yard) and put it in front of the windows, hanging from the eaves. The birds see it at the last moment and slow down or swerve. It was recommended to me by a top birding person, and I saw it on their house and it looked great, and you hardly notice it from the inside. It works for me too.

            Funny woodpeckers. One friend told me she found a downy with its beak stuck in the snow and she helped dislodge it. It was fine. I had a hummer stuck in my screen that way. And my aluminum screen near the feeder has holes galore in it from where the birds hit it and bounced off. No deaths from screen hits but the windows are definitely bad.

            Coolest rescue I ever did was when rescued a hummer from a spiderweb she got caught in as she flew above my head. After I save her she flew to the nearest branch and cussed for ten minutes while cleaning herself off.

            1. Oh and I always encourage people who are building houses or replacing windows to order double-hung windows which have the screen on the outside. The crank-out type have the screen on the inside, not good for bird hits.

            2. It’s funny to hear hummingbirds complain or try to scare you with their high pitched peeps. I’ve had a few do that.

              I don’t get too many hits to the windows but I think when it happens it’s a panic when the birds see a hawk. Normally the downys that see a hawk go completely still. I’ve seen them just freeze on a feeder and go all straight & skinny. It’s strange to see.

      1. Thank you. According to the dynamic map red-bellies are seen in southern Maine, but not yet in northern Maine. I am little north of you. I see lots of flickers and pileated woodpeckers.

  2. Oh their GODs! The red-bellied woodpecker has its belly on the back of its head!

    looking as if it’s contemplating all the big questions

    Why is that human hiding behind and pointing a monster eye at me?

    Nice pictures! Must be cold the woodpecker looks a bit frosted around the eye, beck, and where other birds would have a belly.

    1. They actually do have red bellies even though the head is also red. The red-headed wood peckers look like this. I don’t think I’ve seen one, even though I’m in their summer range.

      I see the little downy woodpeckers regularly, their bigger cousins, the hairy wood pecker, flickers & the occasional pileated woodpecker.

      It’s cold for the little guys & they eat bugs normally (in winter they put up with eating seeds) so it’s nice to supply them with fat & that’s where I get most of my pictures of them as the swing on the apparatus holding the fat.

          1. NP, the one in the link I posted is a female. The females have a gap in the red on their heads. The picture I took is of a male. 🙂

              1. Just generally speaking, that is not the area I have always regarded (or was taught or have rver been given to understand by any one I’ve ever known)as the “belly.” But it is still a lovely little bird, no matter what part of it is red (or not red.)

  3. Red-bellied woodpeckers were common in northern Virginia, where I grew up. Here in Arizona, we have their close relative, the gila woodpecker (same size, same voice, different head pattern). They nest in saguaros and are noisy visitors to our hummingbird feeders.

    1. Yes, the gila woodpeckers definitely have a sweet tooth, and will suck hummingbird feeders dry in no time flat. Very talkative, too — you always know when they’re around.

      Nice shots, Diana! I love the way you got the backgrounds to melt away.



        1. The 300 f/4L IS? Awesome, wonderful lens. Fully deserving of the white paint and red ring, at a fraction of the cost and weight, even if it’s not as fast or as long as the rest of the Great Whites. You’re clearly having fun with it, and putting it to good use.


          1. Yep that’s the one. I considered the f/2.8 but it was too heavy and the cost was quite high for that extra f/stop.

            1. If you don’t need the extra stop and the autofocus performance, and especially if size and / or weight is a factor, the f/4 is a no-brainer. Of course, if you do need the speed, you haven’t a lot of choice….


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