Backyard Battleground…Feuding Feathers…Rivalry in Red…Woodpecker Warfare…I’m pretty sure any of those titles would have conveyed what’s been taking place in my backyard! Suffice it to say, the Red-headed Woodpeckers and their Red-bellied cousins are not happy with each other.
Typically, when the two go beak to beak in battle, the Red-head emerges the victor. But this year, he is being a bit more cautious when he arrives, hiding out to make sure the coast is clear…
…and then coming in to grab some food when all seems safe.
That’s because the Red-bellied Woodpeckers have something worth fighting for. They have a nest cavity in the backyard with little ones in it!
This fellow swoops down in total guard mode…
…and then scoops up some food to take back to the nest.
The female Red-bellied has also been coming to the feeder, and like her mate, she is super alert and on guard, warding off any threats…
…before grabbing some grub and flying back to the babies.
You can see in the picture below why he is called a “Red-bellied” Woodpecker, and you can see from the appearance of his foe that the name “Red-head” already belonged to one for whom it was better suited.
Both of these Woodpeckers are absolute beauties.
I wish they could lay aside their differences and be allies instead of enemies, but since that is unlikely to happen, I’ll sit back and enjoy watching the drama as it unfolds.