This male Red-bellied Woodpecker brought his little one to the backyard over the weekend for some “life lessons with Dad.”
First, he took Junior to the the birdbath where he showed him the “stay alert” approach to drinking.
After watching Dad, the youngster flew over and gave it a try, his open-beaked stance clearly communicating that he would not be sharing with the Blue Jay that was waiting in the wings.
Next, the adult got in the water and demonstrated the awkward art of woodpecker bathing. These birds tend to be quick dippers rather than slow soakers.
The young Red-bellied did his best to imitate the process, but he never quite mastered getting in the water. Instead, he would perch on the side, then dip his head in and shake it.
He kept leaning over, trying to figure out what to do next, but whenever it seemed like he was losing his balance, he would flap his wings and re-settle on the edge.
Once again, he wore his “no visitors welcome” expression.
When the drinking/bathing lesson was complete, Dad flew over to the Dogwood tree nearest the deck and waited for his young one to follow.
Then he flew to one of the feeders and returned with a bite to eat. I wish I could have gotten a better angle of the action, but this will still give you a glimpse of what was going on.
I was mesmerized watching this father to son tutorial, and simply had to share it with you.