A Red-bellied Woodpecker and Some Musings Concerning Photo Procrastination

Friday, April 19, 2019,

This is a pair of photographs of a Red-bellied Woodpecker. I took these pics last December and I just never got around to posting them. This happens much more often than you would think. Actually, it happens more than even I realize. This is a case in point. I was looking for another photograph – the one I used in the previous post – when I came across these two pics. I had forgotten all about them and I even had to check to see if I ever used them. I had not and that is the reason that you’re seeing them here today.

I take a lot of photographs and, sometimes, a few are actually in focus. Unfortunately, I often find it easier to take the photographs than finding something witty or informative to write about them. And sometimes I’m just too darn lazy. I don’t recall the reasons that I never posted these pics till today, whether it was brain freeze, laziness, or maybe even forgetfulness – I’m no Spring Chicken, after all – but time and chance have finally combined to give me something to say about these pics. There are no pearls of wisdom here, and certainly no information about Woodpeckers, but maybe, just maybe, you’ve gained some insight into the less than brilliant mind of a guy who takes too many pictures. JK



A Red-bellied Woodpecker and the Magic of Morton Refuge

Thursday, February 8, 2018,

Those of you that visit this blog – I think there might be three of you now – may have noticed me make mention of the Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge in Sag Harbor. Morton Refuge is a truly magical place. I’ve been going there for over 35 years years and the magic never grows old. It has never become a “ho-hum” experience despite the scores of times I’ve visited there. The magic of the refuge is simple but awe-inspiring. The magic of Morton is the trust that birds have for us humans. There are several species of our feathered friends that will feed directly from your hand. Just bring along some sunflower seeds and you’ll have a hundred new friends. 

This is a male Red-bellied Woodpecker. He was perching and pacing along a split rail fence at Morton, waiting, and hoping, for some seed to be spilled by the folks that come to feed the braver avian species. The braver – or perhaps I should say tamer – birds include Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, and Downy Woodpeckers.  That is the order in which you can expect them to visit you. Chickadees and Titmice are the most common visitors, while Downy Woodpeckers tend to be the shyest of the birds that will perch on your hand. Sometime, and I make no promises here, even the occasional squirrel can be enticed to sample your goods.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, Cardinals, and several assorted Sparrows will all be interested observers but I have never had any of them alight upon my own hand. This is not to say that it does not happen. I met a woman last week who told me that she had had a Blue Jay take a peanut from her hand. It just hasn’t happened for me. If it does, Morton Refuge will become that much more magical for me. As it is though, Morton is magical enough. As I said earlier, even after over 35 years, the wonder of this place never ceases. JK