A Young Woodpecker’s Fancy Turns to Thoughts of Love

It may be freezing in the northeast but here in Florida it seems that pair bonding and nesting are in full swing.

"Our" male Red-bellied Woodpecker surveys the yard.

“Our” male Red-bellied Woodpecker surveys the yard.

For some days now we have been watching this male Red-bellied Woodpecker working around a hole in the palm snag at the edge of the preserve in the backyard.  He seems to have completed his housekeeping chores and I think he must be hoping a female will enjoy his chosen site as much as he does.  Each morning he sits in the opening looking out over the area for two or three hours, seemingly content.  One female has already come around.  This happened two days ago.  She landed on the side of the tree and actually entered the hole, but reappeared in a few seconds.  A lengthy loud conversation ensued and she flew to another palm, with him following close behind.  I could hear the conversation continuing but I assume he failed to convince her because the last two days have seen him back, alone, surveying the view from his hole.  Good luck, Mr. Red-belly.  I like this spot too!

NEWS FLASH!  Our lonely male has attracted a mate.  I think she is even laying eggs as she spends long periods in the nest hole.  Best wishes for a successful nest and healthy young.

Here she is on one of her frequent trips to her "window."

Here she is on one of her frequent trips to her “window.”  It’s a cooler, gray day here so the photo is even worse than the one of him, sorry!


5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Marjorie said,

    Thanks for the warm and fuzzy post about Mr. Red-belly. It’s below freezing in NC and our Mr. Red-belly is busy coming to our window feeder for home-made gorp. Survival, rather than love, is on his mind right now.


  2. 3

    denhug said,

    Wonderful story. I wish him luck.


  3. 4

    Carla said,

    Do you have to put some kind of predator guard around the tree or will it be okay unprotected?


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