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Woodpecker

Woody works on woodpecking

Woody works on woodpecking. I don’t normally focus too much on smaller birds but this little one was working so hard I figured I had to capture the action. Taken on a cold day last week with light snow falling, this Downy Woodpecker wasn’t letting the weather conditions bother it one bit. He worked its way around this tree doing its best to find a meal.

A Downy Woodpecker hunts for a meal on a snowy Colorado day. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Downy Woodpecker hunts for a meal on a snowy Colorado day. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Downy Woodpecker hunts for a meal on a snowy Colorado day. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Downy Woodpecker hunts for a meal on a snowy Colorado day. (© Tony’s Takes)

Woodpecker hangs around for a meal

The Downy Woodpecker is a very busy, active little bird. It moves quickly from spot to spot, pecking at trees looking for small insects. This female was doing just that recently in Adams County, Colorado.

I find these birds are much easier to hear than to see as they don’t sit still for long and tend to hang out in areas that are quite wooded. Thankfully this one gave me a few nice pictures, like this one, where she was hanging almost upside down pecking at a tree.

Female Downy Woodpeckers are all black and white while the males will have a small red tuft on the top of their heads. These birds are common across much of North America so you most likely have some not far from you.

A female Downy Woodpecker hangs on a tree while looking for some food. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Downy Woodpecker hangs on a tree while looking for some food. (© Tony’s Takes)

Random bird pictures for the day

Certainly my camera is usually focused on raptors or large mammals but every now and then other birds grab my attention. These four are some that I captured images of over the past couple of months.

Great Blue Heron aborted landing. This heron was attempting to land on a very small island at a pond in Longmont, Colorado. Its speed was too great through and it missed the target, splashing its feet in the water for an instant before circling around for another attempt.

Great Blue Heron aborts a landing. (© Tony’s Takes)

Great Blue Heron aborts a landing. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sleepy female Red Winged Blackbird. This little lady was hanging out with a couple dozen of her lady friends in Adams County recently. While the others were raising quite a ruckus, she seemed quite disinterested.

A female Red-Winged Blackbird appears to be catching a nap. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Red-Winged Blackbird appears to be catching a nap. (© Tony’s Takes)

Crow closeup. This Crow was hanging out at Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, making lots of noise as they oftentimes do. I suspect it was used to visitors feeding it and it was simply looking for a meal. It certainly was rather tame allowing me to get a nice closeup.

Closeup of a crow in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Closeup of a crow in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Downy Woodpecker hunts for a meal. While out for a walk I heard some light tapping sounds coming from a nearby tree. Investigating I found this nice looking fellow pecking away at a cottonwood tree.

A Downy Woodpecker looks for a meal on a cottonwood tree. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Downy Woodpecker looks for a meal on a cottonwood tree. (© Tony’s Takes)

Woodpecker keeps watch while looking for a meal

I believe this to be a juvenile Red-naped Sapsucker, a pretty common woodpecker here in Colorado during the summer. It was alternating between grabbing bugs off the tree and looking around for threats. Taken in Arapaho National Forest.

A juvenile Red-naped Sapsucker looks around the forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A juvenile Red-naped Sapsucker looks around the forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

How many toes is enough?

Female American Three-Toed Woodpecker in Pike National Forest, Colorado yesterday, August 3, 2014.

Most woodpeckers have four toes but this particular species is one of the few that has three, hence its name. We were camping this past weekend and early yesterday morning I was focused on hummingbirds when I heard this constant tapping from a nearby tree. Upon investigation I found this gal who was not bothered at all by my presence as she went about looking for her breakfast.

This is not a particularly common bird to see if only because it prefers coniferous forests for its habitat. In particular, it prefers forests disturbed by disease and fire which could explain why it was in this particular location very near the area burned by the Hayman Fire in 2002, Colorado’s largest wildfire on record.

 

Female Three-Toed Woodpecker in Pike National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

Female Three-Toed Woodpecker in Pike National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)