Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Did you ever look at someone and make a wrong assumption about them simply because of the way they looked?  I’ve (sadly) done it with people, and this past week, I did it with a bird.

It was with this young Red-bellied Woodpecker that’s been showing up looking all aggressive with his open-beaked attitude.

But the thing is, as I watched him over the course of a couple of days, I realized that I had misjudged the fellow. (I am calling him a fellow because I see a hint of more head red on its way, but it could be a gal.) It would seem that his aggressive appearance is not because he is intent on looking menacing, but because he has some sort of defect or injury where he can’t fully close his beak.

But that hasn’t stopped him from finding a way to enjoy the Bark Butter.  he simply scoops it a little more sideways and then uses his tongue and gravity to push it farther back in his mouth.

He really is a fascinating fellow to watch, and you can’t help but admire his determination.

By the way (and this should come as not surprise to those of you who are regulars!) I named him Dennis…as in the menace…as in he looks menacing…Hey! No judging!

16 thoughts on “Appearances Can Be Deceiving

  1. I condensed the post for Benjamin’s understanding. Then he looked at the enlarged photos with a close inspection of the bird’s beak in each one. After a moment or two he said : “I’m woweed (worried) about him, how can he peck the trees for food?” He wants you to be sure not to “run out of the stuff on the branch” that Dennis is eating “so he won’t be hungry”! Thank-you x 2!!

  2. Great reminder not to assume we know everything after a glance. Some things take a lot of observation before we can really see what’s going on. If this guy’s beak is really stuck open, he’s going to have a hard time of it!

  3. Cute story – Dennis is a keeper; hope to see him around more enjoying that bark butter. You should send some of these shots of birds enjoying bark butter to WBU.

  4. I am wondering how Dennis will be able to peck the trees or perhaps with ingenuity he will find other ways to find food and so on.

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