Monday, June 9, 2014


Looking at some of my blogs, one might conclude that every outing yields results, but what could I show on those days when I am blanked? On some rare days, the opposite happens and I am sandwiched between good subjects.  That happened recently when I had returned to the previously shown Red-headed Woodpecker nesting  cavity.  I'd known that there were two Baltimore Oriole nests nearby; one on each side of the woodpeckers. I found myself timing the activity at each nest and anticipating where I should (literally) focus.

At the woodpecker nest, one adult is incubating inside, and  peers out the opening every five minutes seemingly looking for the next shift to report.

After several scans of the area, it  exits the cavity and takes a series of long stretches, alternating which wing is extended. It then quickly re-enters the tree.

When this is over, I realign to the Baltimore Oriole nest hanging high over the road in a Cottonwood tree. The male comes streaking in at a speed that makes it difficult to anticipate when to capture the bird in flight.

Look closely and you can spy a juicy spider in its beak.  Could they be feeding chicks?

He approaches the intricately woven nest.  This is so exciting that I am forgetting about the woodpeckers!

The male drops deeply into the nest and after several dips inward and outward, his task must be complete....

..for he is away in a flash.

Now, perhaps I have not missed anything at the other nest.  Back to it.  That adult repeats the exit and stretch, this time  becoming vocal.  I think the message is clearly for the other woodpecker.  So, I bounce back and forth between the two nests, hoping to capture the birds in flight.  Just before leaving, the second woodpecker arrives.

Pretty amazing day.  Still, I must note that my next stop is a zero.  It's about patience, persistence and preparation.  Remember the successes; accept the waits and failures.  Know the equipment, so mistakes don't prevent the successes.

I will re-read this blog on days when I come home empty (like yesterday's search for a Pileated Woodpecker nest).


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