I remember when my now 26 year old son was a toddler. Whenever he was out of my sight and was contemplating misbehaving he would call out, “Are you watching me?” The answer was, of course, “I am now!” He never quite learned that calling out his question immediately revealed what he had hoped to conceal.
Well, my Red-headed Woodpeckers have a similar tendency. Whenever they bring their little one to the backyard, they place him on a tree near the outskirts where they try to keep his presence concealed. Then, they fly over close to the feeders and chatter loudly and continuously, alerting everyone to the fact that they are trying to hide their youngster.
Eventually, they swoop down closer, often wearing a “don’t-mess-with-me” expression, like this one.
Then, without fail, they glance every which way to make sure there is no danger lurking about…
…and finally fly over to sneak a quick snack.
I did manage to get a few far off shots of their little one. Honestly, it doesn’t take much to conceal him with his muted, monochrome appearance.
With the extreme heat this summer, the birds have been less abundant, but the Red-heads have remained faithful visitors to the feeders.
If their traditional pattern continues, I know that they will be leaving before too long. So I will savor the last bit of time they are here and then, as I bid them a sad farewell, I will offer the new fall arrivals a heartfelt welcome.