Saturday, January 22, 2011

A house keeping moment in the life of a red bellied woodpecker.

A red bellied woodpecker explores an old yellow birch tree for meaty morsels.
All photos at Waterford Oaks County Park: by Jonathan Schechter.

Pictures tell the tale.   A red bellied woodpecker first drew our attention on the trail at Waterford Oaks County Park by its distinctive call.
And then we noticed it in flight: A beautiful bird with a gray belly, red cap and neck. But the black and white pattern makes me wish it was named the Zebra Woodpecker.

 Another rolling shrill call and he alighted on a yellow birch tree and set about a mission of probing and drilling; most likley ingesting hibernating bugs and beetles. And then the bird vanished.
A few minutes later we caught a flash of red and realized we had spotted more than the woodpecker in flight or hunting for dinner.  We had located the nesting tree!   (We promised the woodpecker not to give out the exact location to protect his property investment but the tree is near a trail at Waterford Oaks County Park.)  We watched for five minutes as he set about house-cleaning and home expansion.  Every thirty seconds or so he would pop out at the entrance of his nesting cavity and toss out wood chips. 

NOTE: For more on the hike at Waterford Oaks County Park read the print edition of Sunday's Oakland Press on January 23rd or look for the Hiking Column on the Oakland Press website at
Enter my full name  Jonathan Schechter  in the search box and all published hiking columns appear.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great shots Jon!

January 23, 2011 at 6:38 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice article and very nice pics!! Keep up the good writing. Can't wait to see what park is next! Great idea writing about places to hike.

January 23, 2011 at 12:37 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jonathan, I had a read that there is a trail from Pinnacle Point (off of Fox Rd) to Algoe Lake (off of Sawmill road). However, I have never been able to find it. Any tips? Want to profile that?

January 25, 2011 at 7:32 PM 
Blogger Jonathan Schechter said...

To the reader above about the trail from Pinnacle Point to Algoe. Contact me at I think I know what you refer to and it would be a great one for me to do for a hiking column. And thanks you all who commented on this post--and recent ones.

January 26, 2011 at 12:22 AM 

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