Friday, April 29, 2011

patient posts


I stopped by to meet Lou for lunch in Barra de Navidad the other day.


We had a great conversation over lunch.  When I was about to drop him off, I told him I was going birding and asked if he wanted to come along.  He was game.


Lou and Wynn had shared one of their private birding spots with me earlier in the year.  We headed out that way. 


As we were driving down a rural dirt track, Lou said: "Slow down.  Stop.  Look at the fence post."


They looked like the usual tree branch posts I see on every rural road around here.

Then I saw it.  A hole at the top of the post. 


And then a head.


It was a woodpecker nest.  The bird had discovered a way to put the recently deceased to good use.  By drilling a perfectly round hole.


I love woodpeckers.  Every time I see one, I can sit and watch its antics as long as I can keep it in sight.


And I suspect I know who is responsible -- Walter Lantz.  The Woody Woodpecker shorts at the movies and the subsequent television show taught us to love that rascally red-head (and not the one married to Desi Arnaz).  Dennis the Menace with a dye job.


Whenever I hear woodpeckers in trees (and we have quite a few around here), I almost expect to hear that trademark ha-ha-ha ha-ha.

In this case, the woodpecker returned to feed its young.  And I got a good view.  Enough to identify it as a ladderback.


I stopped by yesterday to see how the family had grown.  The nest was completely empty.  I hope the young fledged.


But I learned another valuable lesson about Mexico.  I had driven past those posts several times and completely missed the nest.  But with a little patience, and help from a good friend, I witnessed one of Mexico's little side shows.

20 comments:

Don Cuevas said...

We had a redheaded woodpecker pecking desultorily yesterday evening, on a dead eucalyptus to one side of our house. First time we'd seen one here.

Saludos,
Don Cuevas

John Calypso said...

Excellent photos hombre.

Felipe Zapata said...

Woodpeckers are superlative birds.

Nw said...

A few years back we had a large wooded area down the street from my house, kids called it, "hundred acre woods"; it has since been stripped clean. Now we suspect that one of the residents there has moved to our house. Once every few days we have a little pecker banging away at the, not-so-wood siding. Doesn't do much damage, at least to our siding. But, sure makes me long for a different beat. Very entertaining to watch though.

Al said...

I love woodpeckers, too. Last week as I was driving not far from home I saw a pileated woodpecker. Stunning. Turned the car around to get a better look. We frequently see flickers. For a while they were waking us in the morning pounding on the roof.

Art Moretti said...

Enjoyed the good photos.


Art Moretti

Steve Cotton said...

I like them in all of their variety. We have a golden-cheeked woodpecker down here that is fearless.

Steve Cotton said...

Thank you very much. It was good a good shoot site.

Steve Cotton said...

Far better than those nasty grackles.

Steve Cotton said...

I have only heard the pileated. They are all over in Oregon and Washington, but I have never seen one.

Steve Cotton said...

My pleasure.

Steve Cotton said...

They can be persistent. And if your siding can fool a woodpecker, it must be good.

NW said...

Nope just plain ol' Hardie plank. I suspect that this pájaro es loco (Ha-ha-ha-HAA-ha) and not so superlative.

Nita said...

Just a birdy comment. The largest woodpecker, once found in Mexico is now extinct. The Imperial Woodpecker.

Kwallekno said...

I have a stand of aspen that die when the trees get about a foot across, the bugs move in and the woodpeckers drill holes, the trees turn into apartment houses. They fall over in time and the mice move in. It took me a while to learn to leave those dead trees alone,some disorder is good for the landscape. The big meat eating birds love that stand of trees.

1st Mate said...

The woodpeckers around here are so dumb, they try to make holes in lamp posts! You can hear a metallic taptaptap and you know they're at it again.

Steve Cotton said...

Maybe its something in the water up there.

Steve Cotton said...

Like the ivory-billed in The States, there are those who claim to see the imperial now and then. I think they are the same people who see Elvis.

Steve Cotton said...

Nature has a use for everthing. And decay seems to be the best place to see big birds. That is certainly true in my laguna.

Woodpecker said...

You don't have to go to Mexico to see woodpeckers, we have them in New Jersey. But then, who wants to go to Jersey...