Red Bellied Woodpecker

I’ve been ever so slightly keen on seeing woodpeckers while I’ve been in Virginia. They are common here because there are many old trees to provide food and nests. In Britain we’ve cut down 95% of our forests and many of the trees left aren’t old. In many of the woodlands we have left, the old wood is constantly cut for fear of it toppling on someone.

When I’m out walking I see one fly into the trees above me. It’s a Red Bellied Woodpecker. I can’t see it because of all the leaves. I move around, desperate to get a clear view of it; and there it is. It’s just picked a mulberry by the stalk and is gripping it tightly:

Red Bellied Woodpecker - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

What an amazing tail.

Later I see one at the top of a bare tree, very high:

Red Bellied Woodpecker - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The red of its head is spectacular:

Red Bellied Woodpecker - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Later I get another chance to photograph one. I’m fascinated by its toes. Unlike other birds it has two toes facing forwards and two toes facing backwards.

Red Bellied Woodpecker - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Now that is clever.

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