Red-headed Woodpeckers at Blackwater NWR

Going back through my photos taken at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge the last few months, I found these to share of a Red-headed Woodpecker, this first one making his way up a dead tree.

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Red-headed Woodpecker


Arriving at the top, he checked his surroundings.

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Red-headed Woodpecker


He thenΒ  proceeded to snatch up the insects from the decaying snag.

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Red-headed Woodpecker with insect


Another Red-headed Woodpecker who appears to be deep in thought.

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Red-headed Woodpecker


The background in the last photo shows just a few of the numerous dead trees still standing in an area on the Wildlife Drive that is home to a large population of these beautiful birds.



47 thoughts on “Red-headed Woodpeckers at Blackwater NWR

  1. Great shots Donna! These birds used to nest in my backyard a few years back. I miss them! πŸ™‚

  2. This was a life bird for me this year, but alas, all I had was field lenses! May never get to shoot one .. so I’m a bit jealous. Such a fine looking fella.

  3. Beautiful pictures Donna! It’s funny, I have never seen a red-headed woodpecker anyplace other than Blackwater. And all the photos I’ve seen of them posted on MD Birding have also all been from Blackwater. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Beautiful shots of a beautiful bird Donna. We don’t have woodpeckers down here, it is good to see such excellent clear pics as yours. His beak looks like a pencil end. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Thank you, Ashley! This is my favorite woodpecker, I’m in love with that bright red head. Wow, didn’t realize you didn’t have woodpeckers. I know their calls, but a dead giveaway is when they are pounding away at wood with that powerful beak. Thank you, have a great weekend too!

  5. Love Red-Headed Woodpeckers. Your shots are fantastic. They must have a thing for water. I think the only place I have seen more than one was during a visit to Emiquon which is a shorebird destination on the Illinois River.

  6. Beautiful, amazing shots (as usual!) We hear the sounds of woodpeckers (even a Piliated with its loud hammering), but they’re impossible to spot because of the thick tree growth. I have been catching some quick glimpses of both GBHs and Egrets flying up or down our creek. It’s great to catch the swift glimpses of so many birds here, but a bit frustrating not getting much of a chance at portraits because of the trees lining the creek.

    • Thank you, Gunta! The challenges of trees can make it tough for sure. Wow, just think when the tree colors start changing with those birds in the shot! Will both of these birds be migrating from your area for the winter? I’m guessing the Egrets will but maybe not for the GBH?

      • I’m not totally sure, but I think both of them hang around all year. Or so it seems. Wish I could say I might catch the birds with the leaves changing color, but I just get very quick glimpses between branches as they cruise up or down at creek level. We sit well above the creek so I’m looking down through the trees. Still… it’s fun seeing them and knowing they’re there!

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