Tuesday, February 17, 2009

sweet times in the backyard

This is a male Gila Woodpecker visiting one of my backyard feeders this afternoon. I'm pretty sure more of my sugar water goes to woodpeckers than to hummingbirds (not sure how many nectar drinking bats I get, if any). Quite a good looking bird. Click on pics to see a larger image...

The male Gila is easily identified by the red patch on the top of his head.


A male Anna's hummingbird stopped by to demonstrate "proper" perching etiquette.


  1. Awesome pictures! I love watching birds. Sigh...

  2. warren, those are fantastic! How clever the Gila is to hold onto the "pole" as he feeds.

  3. kim -- we certainly do live in a great part of the country to watch birds. Its amazing how pretty they are when you really look at them, and its amazing how many people never look at them.

    catalyst -- the pole grasping seems to be an acquired/practiced technique.

    Every year or two I'll see a woodpecker arrive at a feeder that hasn't figured that out yet and it will land on the edge rail of the feeder only to find it has too much weight... the feeder swings and the woodpecker finds itself now hanging upside down from the rail, using its tail *under* the feeder to try to prop its body/head up into a position where it can get into the feeder -- very funny when it happens.

    They usually catch on pretty fast and then consistently behave like the one above -- a very stable position for both bird and feeder.

  4. Great pix and interesting anecdote in the comments, Warren.


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