A female Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) has spent an easy winter (so far) with us here in the Wind River Canyon. I see her nearly every day, if I am paying close-enough attention to what is happening beyond the obvious crisis. She is a beautiful, little woodpecker and the smallest in our country. At half-a-foot long this downy is small and quick.
The other day I was outside to put back some firewood that a wild animal had knocked off "the wall." I noticed this female downy woodpecker "working" on a log getting herself some lunch. Hiding behind a juniper tree, I just watched her hammer away, motioning for my wife to sneak-a-peak, too.
Realizing I had an opportunity to produce some video of her with my Canon M6 Mark II, I made a quick retreat. My Canon 70-200mm F/4L lens seems to spend a lot of time on this camera now, and it happened to be a good choice for a sneaky video documenting her feeding behavior; and yes, it is handheld, and looks like it, too!
The only sound to be heard was my heavy breathing, so I muted the obvious distraction in post-production; it sounded like a "crank" phone call anyway! Our local Rock Mountain Downy Woodpeckers have less white 0n their wings than those in other regions of America; have you ever observed one yourself? They resemble the Hairy Woodpeckers (Picoides villosus), but are much smaller as are their "tough-as-nails" beaks. Because of this difference they do not compete for the same food sources. Even among the same species, males and females have different sized beaks and don't compete for the same food; their only problem is the loss-of-habitat. She is a wonderful and calming distraction in this time of mental craziness.
Thank you for reading my Wind River Canyon Blog this month, I hope all are well. As you would expect to see----All rights are reserved, of course. It is noon at the moment and snowing and only 22 degrees! Looks like maybe winter is back.
My name is Michael John Balog and I live in the Wind River Canyon in Wyoming.
Safely visit my website HogbatsPhotography.com for Hummingbirds, Bighorn Sheep and many other videos and images of Wyoming wildlife.