My Red-headed Woodpecker

by Noelle Stodden | Aug 18, 2021 | 0 comments

I sat in the room with the door closed, the lights off, and the window open. It was 11:00 a.m., and we had been seeing the Red-headed Woodpecker at our feeders all morning. I had decided to try for a picture of him.

Red-headed Woodpecker. Photo © Noelle Stodden.

The Red-headed Woodpecker is a fairly large woodpecker that has a completely red head, black upper back, and white patches on the rump and lower back. They live year-round here in Illinois.
We have occasionally had one visit our yard, but this one seemed to have made it his home. He had been visiting our feeders for several days, and I had just put out some whole corn for him and the Blue Jays.

I waited, camera aimed at the tray feeder, ready to snap a picture as soon as he landed. He didn’t come. I did, however, get some good pictures of a Carolina Chickadee and a Northern Cardinal, but no Red-headed Woodpecker. I saw him up in our trees a few times, too far away to get a good picture.

Eventually, I heard my name being called so I turned off my camera and went to see what I was wanted for. When I got to the dining room, my sister said “The Red-headed Woodpecker has been here! He keeps coming, taking a piece of corn and flying away.”

I had been on the wrong side of the house! I chose to watch the feeder that would be easiest for him to land on. Apparently, he liked the challenge our smaller feeder presented.

I ran to get my camera and tripod. After a few minutes, he came. This feeder is a tube feeder with a small tray on the bottom. He had to cling to the tray and grab the piece of corn. He was a little wary about the window being open but eventually came to the feeder. I finally got a picture of a Red-headed Woodpecker up close!

He soon flew off with his piece of corn, but kept coming back for more. After photographing several of his trips, I turned my camera off, and we just enjoyed watching the Red-headed Woodpecker store away corn. This industrious bird worked all day and inspired me to look around in nature more. I can’t wait to see what I find next!

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