Red-headed & Red-bellied Woodpeckers

Last month heading home from Florida, I had mentioned we stopped for a few days in South Carolina.  I enjoyed a few sessions with Woodpeckers while out walking.

It was the flash of red that I saw; a Red-headed Woodpecker landing in a clump of tall trees.  Too far away with my zoom, I moved closer, but found I had to get almost under the clump of trees to get any photos, shooting straight up.

Although I was getting some shots, the weight of my camera and lens got the best of me quickly.  Not giving up so easily, and after looking around & not seeing anyone, I laid down with my back on the turf of grass I was standing on and shot straight up.  Wow, this was so much better for the situation!  I imagine I looked a little goofy to those passing by.  But the photos were worth it to me.

The male Red-headed Woodpecker was quite busy patrolling the skies…..

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Retrieving berries…..

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And searching the tree barks for insects.

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I watched long enough to discover the Red-headed Woodpecker’s ‘home’ where he was delivering insects to his mate I suspect.

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Back on patrol…..

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And another flight shot…..

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At another ‘session’, I found a Red-headed Woodpecker high up on a electric pole.  As I took a few photos, the next series occurred where a Red-bellied Woodpecker flew directly at the Red-headed Woodpecker, forcing him to leave.

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After a few minutes, the Red-bellied Woodpecker flew back to his ‘trees’.

The Red-headed Woodpecker took his chances and flew back to the pole as soon as the Red-bellied Woodpecker left.  I thought this was hilarious!  The Red-bellied Woodpecker didn’t return, but you can tell in the next photo the Red-headed Woodpecker was expecting him.  I wonder what his plan was this time if the Red-bellied had returned?

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I located the Red-bellied Woodpecker and watched him fly to the base of a tree, then make his way up the trunk to the branches.  I supposed he had better things on his mind than messing with that Red-headed fella.

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Once he got to an upper branch, I was surprised by the appearance of a female.  I shot off a series as they got busy mating.

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When they finished, I captured this next ‘mirror-image’ shot.  And then they were gone in separate directions!

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The Woodpeckers were a fun challenge times two and a great add to my files.  We all love being at the right place, right time!

Carry your camera wherever you go and discover your enjoyable “right place, right time” moment this week!


43 thoughts on “Red-headed & Red-bellied Woodpeckers

  1. Love this post! I can see you stretched out with the camera pointed up, happily clicking away! Hey, whatever works! Beautiful birds; thanks for sharing! hugs

  2. Wow! So brilliant!Like that they stayed around and let you get some interesting shots. That would be a thrill to spot one of these-never seen one before.The only thing that embarrasses me about lying down is the effort to make the transition with all the moaning and groaning-so pathetic!

    • Thanks, Helen! I’ve been too busy to blog & internet lately, but I’ve got to visit you to see what’s the latest with Stanley and Sandy and my last visit there was one chick! 🙂 Be over soon!

  3. So beautiful and so fashionable too 🙂 amazing colours. Loved them all you did great shots dear Donna, Thank you, have a nice day, Love, nia

  4. Wow Donna! what great shots of a beautiful bird, I especially love your flight shots. I have seen many pics by others of the bird but not flight shots like yours!

  5. Fantastic! Donna, I can’t imagine the patience required to capture these shots. It’s definitely worth it. Love the way you capture the natural world. 🙂

  6. Great captures, Donna! The Red-Headeds are characters, aren’t they? And to get all those intimate shots of the Red-Bellieds is amazing. Good work!

  7. These are among the very best shots of a Red-headed Woodpecker I’ve ever seen! Great idea about lying on your back. I often get low for Shorebirds etc, but never thought of a supine position for overhead shots. I’ll give it a try.

    • Thank you so much! I often get low too, but this time I wasn’t giving up with the Red-head on how I was going to get shots. Check for ants before trying, I did that first too! 🙂 I stood in a grassy spot in Florida around the water treatment plant and was shooting away at I forget what bird, when all of a sudden I felt ants biting my ankle! I learned quickly about thinking about those little critters first. lol

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