Monday, January 28, 2013

The Red Headed Woodpecker Visits a Waterfall in Tiger Gardens

"The gorgeous Red-headed Woodpecker is so boldly patterned it’s been called a “flying checkerboard,” with an entirely crimson head, a snow-white body, and half white, half inky black wings." (The Cornell Lab of Ornithology 'All About Birds')

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Guess who came to visit Tiger Gardens on a recent frigid day in January? The wonderfully colored red-headed woodpecker showed up on my waterfall. I was so excited I ran to get my camera and was able to snap a few shots of this beautiful woodpecker in order to document the sighting. You see, these woodpeckers have declined over the past of up to 70% according to Cornell. This decline has been primarily in Florida and the Great Lakes. The decline is in part due to loss of habitat and also due to the fact that once upon a time these woodpeckers were so abundant that bounties were placed on their heads and they were also often hit by cars. I was telling a local friend that one of these red headed woodpeckers had come to visit and she said she has them all over the place on her property just down the road. I guess the population of red headed woodpeckers in this part of Tennessee is pretty healthy based on her sightings.

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I am so happy to find not only this woodpecker in Tiger Gardens but also a yellow bellied sapsucker, and small woodpeckers such as downy and hairy woodpeckers. All woodpeckers eat insects and add to the biodiversity of the garden. The red-headed woodpecker will actually eat mice! All the better for Tiger Gardens!

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This is not the first time the waterfall has attracted neat and wonderful birds but this is the first time I was able to capture the visit in photos....

in the garden....


Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

11 comments:

  1. What great shots and how exciting for you. This was a happy post.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

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  2. How exciting!! I think I've had these woodpeckers in the garden but I'm not 100% sure. It's so fun to watch the wildlife in our gardens!! I'm glad you happened to look outside when you did!

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  3. Congrats on spotting this beautiful bird! I have yet to spot a Red headed woodpecker in our garden. We spot the Yellow-belly normally in the winter months. The elusive pileated made an appearanced on Friday. I keep my eyes open for the Red-headed though...

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  4. Ive never seen a woodpecker when he wasn't hanging on a tree. You hardly ever see them anymore. :0(

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  5. What a special visitor. That pond is really attracting some nice company to your garden.

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  6. how sad i have never seen one in Fl here

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  7. Nice shots, tina! The bird is incredibly lovely!! It is the first time I've ever seen a red headed woodpecker.

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  8. They eat mice??!!?!? wow, I have had a Redheaded Woodpecker on and off in our backyard. They are lots of fun to see. Great photos Tina.

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  9. Awesome capture Tina and I need them in my garden if they do eat mice....

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  10. Pretty bird. You got some lovely shots.

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