The Little Fellow Peeking Over The Branch

Sometimes I spot him as early as 6:30 AM if I’m lucky.But Mr. Red-belly can be seen at various times throughout the day, diligently gathering food for his hungry offspring.Such a hard worker! He carries a sunflower seed from the feeder over to the nearby sugar maple and cracks it open.At first I thought he was gathering his own breakfast until one morning I spotted…this little fellow peeking over the branch,

  ….waiting for Daddy to bring another seed.

Ah, here he comes. Hurry Dad, I’m starved!

I wonder how many tiny morsels it takes to fill that little tummy.

How about some suet?

Oh, yes please!

And back he goes for more.What’s taking so long?Sometimes Dad has to argue with the sparrows about whose turn it is. They’re feeding babies too, you know!

But can’t you see I’m hungrier than they are?

Overworked and underpaid, don’t you know?I work my beak off, and what do I get? Squawk, squawk, more, more!Doesn’t this child ever sleep? Why can’t his mother do this?But Mommy is nowhere to be seen. Perhaps she’s on duty elsewhere.I did see this female on the maple trunk back in the middle of May, but haven’t noticed one since.

Notice the difference in the coloring on the female’s head? She has a gap in the red while Daddy’s head color goes all the way to his beak.Red-bellies are often misnamed red-headed woodpeckers for obvious reasons, but you can see what a red-head looks like here at Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s great site, All About Birds.

Last time I saw the youngster was August 4th. He came by himself, or at least he appeared to be alone. Daddy was nowhere in sight. See how the red has come in on his head in just over a week?

I didn’t see him eat anything before he flew into the maple tree, but it looks like he’s becoming more independant, getting out on his own. I’ll bet Dad is happy about that!I hope we’re lucky enough to see the little guy feeding a baby of his own next year.


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