Red-bellied Woodpeckers Gathering and Stashing Berries

I spent many hours over the past couple months watching and photographing the huge number of Red-bellied Woodpeckers so easy to find in Everglades City.  I’ve never in my life seen so many of them in one small area.

 

Red-bellied Woodpeckers

 

I’m not sure the species of palm tree that produces the black/blue/purple berries, but I do know the Red-bellied Woodpeckers know and love them.  An area mid-town was superb for watching them.  They cleaned off those area palm tree berries when they ripened in a couple of weeks.

Swoop in, hang from the berry branch, pluck the berry, then swiftly fly away to other nearby palm trees that hosted their nest and stash them all around it in the tree’s bark.  Literally, pushing and pounding them into holes and crevices on their nest tree.  Then fly back for another!

 

Red-Bellied Woodpeckers gathering and stashing berries

 

You ever take a photo with poor exposure results but just can’t trash it for one reason or another?

Here’s one of mine, shot in the shade with poor exposure.  But it looked too adorable to trash.  So I played a little with it in black and white and presto!  It became worthy of saving!

 

DSC_6821-1 32420

Red-bellied Woodpecker

 

For those curious on what the original photo looked like, here you go.

 

DSC_6821-3 orig

 

And to think, I almost deleted it…..

 

 

62 thoughts on “Red-bellied Woodpeckers Gathering and Stashing Berries

  1. Very nice! Love the black and white photo too. Beautiful bird on a beautiful day! William — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104 The Message

  2. What great and colorful pictures, Donna. And also a good reminder to me to try black and white more often. I get so wrapped up in the colors of a photo that I forget the impact that black and white can have. Thanks for sharing and for the reminder – especially on how to perk up a less than perfect photo!

    • Thank you, Susan! I’m a lover of colors too, but sometimes I like to try dabbling with B&W. I usually delete too fast; with the number of photos I take, I can’t save every one of them. If a photo catches my eye, I do try and see if it’ll work. Sometimes it does, sometimes it still gets trashed, lol.

  3. Definitely worth saving, Donna! That last photo looks very elegant. And those red bellies are SO adorable. Can you believe that I have seen only ONE of them in my life?! That was in Pueblo, Colorado, 2 years ago and it was a lifer for me then. I need to get out more often! 🙂

    • Thank you, Tanja! Love your comment the B&W looks elegant, I think that too, I’m so tickled with that shot. Now I’ll never trash a photo again. 😉 I’d have loved to show you this location for you to see them everywhere all at once, at least a couple dozen amongst all the trees. It was amazing!

    • Thank you, Jane! It’s been a joy to see and share the many birds I’ve never photographed before, as well as many that I’ve only seen once or twice prior. And then all my ‘familiars’ too! South Florida is indeed a birder’s paradise!

  4. Nice save, looks good! I’ve tried that more than once and it doesn’t always work but when it does, and it’s a picture you really want, it’s a great feeling.

  5. The Red-bellied Woodpeckers are indeed all over Florida. They pick fruits from palm trees mostly and some other plants. Your photos are excellent as always, the B&W you worked on is definitely a keeper. Can’t wait to visit Florida again. 🙂

  6. Amazing, I didn’t know that they cache food. Like acorn woodpeckers. Great shots, Donna!
    I saw a pair yesterday doing a mating dance, flitting out and back and then spirling up a tree trunk. It went on and on until I finally gave up watching. Very cool birds!

    • Thank you, Eliza, I learned about this behavior myself from seeing this. 🙂 I also saw pairs spiraling up a tree too, just like you said! Tried hard to get a photo, they moved so fast in their fancy. I’ll review again those photos to see if any are sharable.

  7. I LOVE that B&W. Nothing wrong with it at all. It’s gorgeous, here on my laptop. I posted a photo of a young deer. My Samsung doesn’t do all that well with distance. When I zoomed in on the picture before posting it, it blurred (naturally). However, I posted it, anyway, because it had a lovely painting look to it. Happy accidents!

    Woodpeckers fascinate me. So do Finches and Wrens. They are so cute and agile.

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