Woodpecker’s Romance

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Red-bellied woodpecker pecking on the tree

Making holes in the maple for his mate to see

She makes her choice and the work begins

Wood chips flying as they dig in

Deeper and deeper into the trunk

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They carved and pecked for over a month

Bodies disappear deep into the tree

Now only their tails is all I can see

A cavernous hole a perfectly round circle

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Ready to start nesting in those shadows of purple

Warming the eggs for a couple of weeks

Brings out new babies all hairless and weak

Continuous food trips all day for a month

The new birds get stronger and ready for launch

Hanging around for a while in their cover

Then off to the woods their cycle starts over

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You can see the hole they started in the center tree. This was in the back of my yard, about fifty or sixty feet away. I could watch them making their next from my living room chair. I watched as she sat on the nest, but I never saw the babies leave nest.  The next year they moved to a different location and the squirrel moved in enlarging the hole so much that the whole top of the Maple tree broke off in a storm. I shot the photos with a 200 mm telephoto lens and then cropped them even more with the Windows photo editor.

This happened in the spring of 2017. I posted this poem after watching all this take place. I hope your enjoyed my rerun of this one.

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

41 thoughts on “Woodpecker’s Romance

    • Thank you so much Carol Anne. The opening photo is a lucky shot I got of both of them sitting on a large limb looking adoringly at each other. My Red headed wood pecker is a fairly large bird probably six inches from beak to tail. They are white with black comma like dots all over except their heads which is crimson red. The male head is solid red across the top from neck to beak. The female has a break in the red on the forehead their breast and underside is a light soft gray from chin to tail. They have huge claws that help them hang on. They made the hole in a dying maple tree about thirty feet up. The hole was probably three and a half to four inches across and a perfect circle. The hole was big enough that they could disappear inside. I watched as the chips flew out of the hole when they worked. I did not get to see the little ones, but it appeared that they both sat on the eggs. It was a once in a lifetime treat for me to watch them work. Hope this gives you a better picture! Thank you so much for your comment. Hope you have a great day!
      Dwight

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  1. Pingback: Woodpecker’s Romance – MobsterTiger

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