This gallery contains 4 photos. I don’t usually characterize woodpeckers as curious or bold. Those are adjectives I usually reserve for chickadees or hummingbirds. But the sight of the head of a female Downy Woodpecker suddenly and soundlessly popping up on the apple tree in the backyard in the early evening hours of July 2 was completely unexpected and quite hilarious.
Rather ironically, I had the 500mm telephoto lens with me, because my intended subjects for the evening weren’t supposed to be closeups! But no one told Mrs. W. that. 🙂 So, putting the absurdity and humour of the situation aside, I backed off from the scant twelve inches between us to shoot some footage of her that wasn’t completely blurred.
The Downies are masters (and mistresses) in inching up trees in seconds–like this one was! After previewing these photos, I noticed, for the first time, that Downy Woodpeckers actually sport grey spots on their sides. Somehow I missed that fact on their University of Cornell allaboutbirds.org profile. 🙂
Not five seconds later, and undaunted by the barrel of a super telephoto lens projected at her, she flew even closer … onto the half-depleted suet feeder … reducing the space between us to about six inches. So I backed off and gave her 3-4 feet of breathing room, content to just watch her feed. 🙂