I thought perhaps it was time for an update on our woodpecker. Well, I suppose, it's not actually our woodpecker but the nest is in the tree in our courtyard so if nothing else I guess it's kind of like a new neighbor move in next door?
For a recap, in early spring of this year, right around the time that Tim was going to cut down a dead palm tree in our courtyard, we noticed a woodpecker clearly building a nest in that very tree. Because we are both animal lovers, the tree cutting was postponed and we have had a lovely time watching the progress out the kitchen window every day.
I read up a little bit on woodpeckers and it seems that the dad woodpecker is the one who actually makes the hole in the tree. It was clearly a lot of work and it took him quite some time to finish it. But once it was done, the mom woodpecker checked it out and apparently she approved because she moved right in. From that point forward, we noticed that, generally, the Mrs. gets the day shift and the Mr. gets the night shift. Interesting.
So we had new neighbors, but they weren't bothersome at all. They were relatively quiet and we worked out a routine. Anytime I was in the courtyard I was say hello and she would sing back to me. Seriously, every single time I called out good morning, she would do that trilling, purring chirruping thing that they do! It was very cool.
Eventually I found myself referring to her as Mama. Tim calls her Mama Woody. If she didn't respond to me when I called out, I would say, 'Mama where are you?" and then I would hear her song from a nearby tree. This just became part of our routine. Like friendly neighbors who aren't really friends, just exchanging hellos. And things went on like that for quite some time. Just the two of us exchanging howdy do's.
Then came a few times when the woodpeckers were going crazy with noise. I heard it from inside and our of curiosity I went to the window to see what was going on. Well it was a miserable old crow perched on top of their tree, trying to get into the nest. The woodpecker mom and dad were dive bombing the crow and making quite a racket. I ran outside and chased off the crow. Another time, Tim and I were coming back from our walk and we could hear the frantic woodpeckers again dealing with a rascally squirrel. This time Tim was the one who scared off the intruder. Apparently the unfriendly wildlife took Tim far more seriously than they did me, because they haven't been back. At least not that we have seen.
So life went on, as life does, hum dilly hum, each day pretty much the same, exchanging hellos and nothing more with Mr. & Mrs. Woodpecker and then one day as Tim and I were leaving the house, Tim happened to glance toward the tree. He softly called to me and he pointed at the entrance of the nest. I looked and saw nothing. But Tim told me that he thought he saw a baby woodpecker. I didn't see it, ( Ratz!) but now I knew it was there. How exciting!
So I put my camera on the kitchen table so it would be close at hand. I checked out the window a zillion times a day for many days and eventually, I saw this little guy peeking out. First I could just barely see his little beak
And then his whole little face:
And then after some time, he got really brave and started kind of leaning out of his doorway:
Sometimes he would lean so far out that I was seriously afraid that he was going to fall. Yikes little guy! Brave is one thing, but don't be foolhardy! Go back in, go back inside!
Luckily Mama was nearby and swooped down to set him straight! KIDS!
Later on both Mom and Dad were on hand, getting ready to batten down the hatches and prepare for the hurricane. Hang on to your feathers, Mama, I said, there is a storm brewing!!
I was concerned for how the woodpecker family fared during Elsa, but this morning when I called out Good morning Mama, she called back to me, so I assume they are all fine. I haven't seen Junior today but then, despite what it seems like from reading this post, I actually do have other things to do on an average day besides take photos of woodpeckers.
Anyway, that's the story so far. I look hopefully forward to maybe getting some picture of the little one taking his first solo flight! So stay tuned for that.
I know that eventually they will move on, and Tim will cut down the tree as needs to be done, but for the time being, I am enjoying our little bird/human friendship such as it is. They are wild creatures of course and I would never interfere with that. But, there is no harm in being a good neighbor.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.