Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Red-bellied Woodpecker eating greenbrier berries along the Little Miami River...

Winging it across the Little Miami River in its distinctive undulating flight, the Red-bellied Woodpecker was recognizable before she announced herself with her loud, rolling call. She seemed to be flying with a particular destination in mind, and I soon found out why as she landed in a tangle of vines covered with plump blue berries where she immediately started devouring them in quick gulps. I’m not sure what species this berry is, but I assume it is some form of Smilax (Greenbrier) berry.


The female Red-bellied Woodpecker wasted no time plucking off one berry at a time and swallowing them whole.



She had such a taste for these berries she was not bothered at all when a loud group of cyclists whizzed past. She almost tolerated a couple of roller bladers too, but fled to the other side of the river in fright as they drew near.


On my way back, I found her once again in the tree, munching on the fat, plump berries.


Unfortunately, just as I went to photograph her on my return walk, I got the old "nothing" click because the card was full. Rats! Normally I have a back-up card, but Sunday was my first time out in the woods since the Swine, and I was a little fuzzy and forgot to bring extra cards. It will be interesting to go back in a few days and see how many of the berries remain (and maybe catch her lurking around looking for more).

p.s.
We had another new yard bird today!
I was in the kitchen working, when I heard the faintest sweet peep out the kitchen window. It was 47 degrees outside, but if I can stand it, I have that window open so I can hear the birds outside. I froze and listened, because it was a new “yard” sound. Soon it came again, and there was no mistaking it….a Golden-crowned Kinglet. The tiny little sprite hopped from branch to branch in the ornamental plum tree just outside my kitchen window. Magic… That’s three new yard birds in as many weeks, a Blackburnian Warbler, a Red-breasted Nuthatch…and now a Golden-crowned Kinglet. Yeah!!

22 comments:

Mary said...

What beautiful shots! Now I wish I had one of those bushes/trees full of berries growing here. Congrats on the Kinglet! New birds are always exciting.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

All of those new birds know where there's a great place to spend the winter!!!!! How do you learn the birds by their songs???? I just get more and more confused.

Love the Red-bellied... We have them --and they love to come to the feeders. They love suet and black sunflower seed.

Hugs,
Betsy

Laure Ferlita said...

Awesome shots and I've got to get one of those feeders!

Sue said...

Kelly,nice shots of one of my favorites!

I have been trying to find one of those hamster ball feeders online-any info on who makes it? I'm having no luck....

Jayne said...

They are so much fun to watch, aren't they? :c) Bet she ate until she was about to burst...lol! Congrats on the new yard bird Kelly!

Kristen said...

Congratulations on your new birds! That's the best feeling, when you see/hear a new one :) Our red bellies and flickers and cedar waxwings have really been enjoying the berry vines on a couple of our cherry trees out front also... I don't have any idea what kind of berries they are, but they love them! Happy birding!

Busy Bee Suz said...

The woodpecker was feasting indeed! So cute. Congrats on all your new yard birds, they must sense they are all welcome there!

Dave Lewis said...

I'm glad that you're feeling better and out and about again!
What a great new bird for the yard list!
We LOVE Golden-crowned Kinglets!

Appalachian Lady said...

Those are great photos of the red-bellied woodpecker. We have greenbrier berries but never that many--what a find.

holdingmoments said...

Lovely shots Kelly, especially the first, eating the berries.
Well done on the new visitor too. Always exciting when that happens.

Warren Baker said...

How many yard species is that now Kelly ?

Heather said...

Lovely Red-bellied shots! I watched one pluck a peanut from our peanut feeder this morning... the first time I've seen that happen. I'm so excited you got a Kinglet in your yard too! Now, when are you going to send the Red-breasted Nuthatches to Athens?! (Oh, I saw a White-throated Sparrow in our yard the other night! Have you had any yet this season?)

P.S. Glad you were finally able to be out and about enjoying the bike trail again!

Chris said...

HI Kelly,
Wow I love woodpecker and try to enjoy them when I go to France, but they are very hard to get picture off when you do not know their habit. Still you got very nice shots of one of them, and this is a beauty... The background on your shots is beautiful and I love to see it in its environment like this! This are gorgeous pictures Kelly....
Congrats on your three new species in your yard, and I hope you will have more and will be able to get nice shots of them...
Thanks for your nice comments and your fidelity on my blog.... It is much appreciate!

Tina said...

Kelly,
Such nice captures of that red-belly!
I love that you found her eating the berries..it always makes such a nice composition for great photos!
How lucky to have a tiny kinglet visit your plum tree. You must have one of those great back yards that all the birds love!

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Kelly
Nice photo's of the Woodpecker. Also well done with adding the Kinglet to your garden list, what a great little bird.

Chris Petrak said...

I am always astounded at how many berries some birds can eat - the RBWO looks like its enjoying the feast. Nice photos

Montanagirl said...

Oh, lucky you!

Tabib said...

Beautiful feeding shots!

gwendolen said...

Wow, lovely captures Kelly. Relaly love that first one.

RuthieJ said...

Cool pics Kelly. I didn't know woodpeckers liked berries. That might explain what I've seen a Pileated Woodpecker doing in the tops of trees near my deerstand..... I'll have to keep my binoculars handy to find out for sure the next time I'm out there.

Rambling Woods said...

Lovely shot..I got a special woodpecker blend with nuts and fruit and the red-bellied love it. They brought their kids to eat it this summer...Love the flicker above. I rarely see them at my suet feeder.. Michelle

NatureFootstep said...

I call that a beautiful woodpecker. We don´t have taht one in Sweden. :)

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