Woodrow the Pileated Woodpecker

My birdwatching is reaching new levels as springtime brings the wonder of nesting into our yard.  A Carolina Wren couple is busy preparing a nest in a bull face basket hanging next to our front door.  I thought I heard wee sounds during the week, but it may have been the mother wren laying her eggs or busily rearranging the twigs.  The wrens are aware of our presence, but I don’t want to disturb the process, fearing they may flee for safer ground.  At this point I haven’t moved the basket to see what is actually inside.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has two live web cams monitoring the nesting activities of a pair of Great Blue Heron in a pond at the Lab.  I have learned a great deal by watching and reading the accompanying chat comments.  This is a returning couple who have used this nest previously.  There are five eggs and the hatch due date is towards the end of April.  Both parents share the nest duties.  During one visit to the bird cam I witnessed the father bringing nest materials to the mother who then arranged them carefully to produce a taller nest wall.  Clearly she knew how she wanted the nursery to look.

A new bird visitor we have named Woodrow has been making daily visits to our suet feeder.  Woodrow is a magnificent Pileated Woodpecker.  He announces his arrival with a song that sounds as if he is laughing.  This has given me ample time to get myself and my camera in a good position in our sun room for his photo sessions.  My new camera certainly made a difference in the quality of the photos I have taken.  My husband, equally engaged by Woodrow’s appearances, has also taken many great still photos in addition to a short video of our friend munching on his snack from above our chalet bird feeder.  Sometimes he hangs from below and pecks upward at the suet.  Woodrow is at least seventeen or eighteen inches long.  This is the average size for the species.

Since it has been almost a month since I did any art work, I was pleased that my return today produced a nice likeness of Woodrow. I opted to do a watercolor painting rather than a collage.  That may come later.  Our yard has also been visited by Downy, Hairy,  and Red Bellied Woodpeckers.  Since we have covered our wood soffits with aluminum I haven’t noticed any woodpeckers dining on them.  Hopefully whatever insect they were after is no longer active.  I guess time will tell.

About circuitousjourney

Retired Art Teacher
This entry was posted in Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Time for Art and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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