Check Out My “Do”

We have a pair of Downy Woodpeckers that visit our back yard regularly. It’s easy to tell Mr. Downy from Mrs. Downy because of the patch of red on the back of Mr. Downy’s head.

A few weeks ago I noticed him on our bird bath and it seemed to me that the red on his head was more iridescent than normal, especially when he turned his head in a particular way.

So I did what any photographer would do, I grabbed my camera to could get a better look at the situation and hopefully capture some images of the phenomenon I was observing.

One thing I especially love about photography is the ability to freeze time. This gives me a chance to really study an object or event in a way I could never do in real time. And because of the incredible resolution of digital photography and the reach of telephoto lenses, I get to see details I could never see with my naked eyes.

What I discovered, with this sequence, was that when he stood up straight and alert, the red feathers on the back of his head stood out as well, catching the light in a way that made it look like there was a little flame coming out of his head.

I’m no expert on this. But, since it is Spring and mating time, I suspect this behavior might be an attempt to draw special attention to himself.

As if to say, “Hey Baby, check out my ‘Do’!”

Cheers – DJD

Rain since last posting: 4.0 in. 2013 year to date: 14.0 in.

Explore posts in the same categories: Birds, In Our Back Yard, Nature

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