Thursday, March 8, 2018

Sammamish River nature photographer captures Downy Woodpecker

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The title is kinda funny, huh?

On a recent overcast day, I stepped out onto the promontory that overlooks the Sammamish River in downtown Redmond, opposite the Opportunity Building.  I was surprised to see a downy woodpecker suddenly alight in a low bare-branched tree in the middle of the fence at the edge of the river bank.

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I quickly reached for my camera, hoping I’d be lucky enough to get off a few shots before it flew away.  To my surprise, it ignored my approach and calmly flitted about, pecking at the bark on the trunk and branches.  It was a male, as evidenced by its red topknot. 

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Downy woodpeckers are the smallest woodpeckers in Washington state and indeed the country.  They are quite common and typically inhabit deciduous forests.  They find insects in the crevices of bark, but also feed on berries, seeds and suet.  Monogamous breeding pairs form in late winter.

My little friend allowed me to take several photos at close range.  It's amazing what you can find in our  growing downtown urban center.

-- John Reinke
    Redmond, WA
    Photos credit John Reinke

1 comment:

Sandee Palmquist said...

One of many reasons to love living in Redmond. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.