Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pileated Woodpeckers and Baby Robins

 What a happy surprise!  A pair of pileated woodpeckers about 30' from my window, and I actually managed to get a fuzzy picture of them.  These birds are about 15" long so they are quite impressive to see. The male has a red streak running from the corner of his beak back a couple of inches.  I can't tell from the pic which one he is, perhaps the one on the left as the feathers may be slightly darker which is a characteristic of the males.  The pileated woodpeckers are helpful to other birds because, as they look for insects, they hollow out cavities in the trees that other birds use as nesting or roosting sights.  My old Golden field guide to birds copyright 1966 lists them as uncommon, but the U. of Cornell site says that their numbers have increased significantly since then and are considered a bird of "least concern".  That's encouraging!
Robins are certainly common, but it's still fun to discover a nest and watch the babies grow up.  This nest is in our lilac bush about 6' off the ground.  At least two birds are in the nest, but perhaps there is a third  baby.  I love the delicate fuzzy sprout of feathers growing on their heads.

The nest is well camouflaged in the thick branches of the lilac.  Lots of worms are in the grass nearby to feed the hungry little mouths.
I may have witnessed the first flight of some young chickadess.  There was certainly lots of chirping, and calling as chickadees made short flights from tree to tree.  Finally, they all landed in the apple tree and spent some time snacking on the variety of bugs that live in that most organic tree.


  1. Those baby robins are so cute! Robins were my mother's favourite bird and seeing them always makes me smile. I have not seen babies so close up though-great photos and also of the woodpeckers! Alison xx

  2. Oh how I would love to see those pileated woodpeckers!