An Unexpected Buddy

One thing I've learned about wildlife photography is that you sometimes think you're out there to shoot one thing and another will present itself. There's a dying tree in the yard that's supporting the nest hole of a Red-bellied Woodpecker, and I wanted to get a good picture of the parents or fledglings. The Red-bellies were largely uncooperative, but in the apple tree to my right, this Downy Woodpecker was hopping around and tapping.

Based on the condition of the feathers, I'm thinking this is probably a female who is just coming into her adult plumage. She let me get incredibly close, though I followed my general rule that I limit my distance to whatever doesn't seem to influence the natural behavior of the bird. If the bird flies off because I've gotten to close, I count that as a failure.

So I spent a couple of minutes with my little buddy and then backed off so she could find a meal in peace.

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