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Your worm or mine?

Your worm or mine?
Photo Information
Copyright: Kathy Meader (writerscrawlz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 277 W: 2 N: 924] (2961)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-14
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS digital rebel XT, 28-300mm
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-10-17 10:51
Viewed: 2661
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Good morning, all!

I know I'm rarely here at the moment, but that can't be helped. However, let me share this incredible story with y'all.

The other morning, about two hours before I had the encounter I am about to share with you, a small miracle happened. My nephew, born eight weeks pre-mature weighed in at a whopping four pounds and two ounces - small yes, but please consider how pre-mature he was. Not only that but he is breathing on his own, has a healthy appetite, and has one very excited family.

Before his birth, two babies were lost - so, you see, he really is a little miracle.

Not having that knowledge at the time, and on the same day, just a couple hours later, I had an encounter with several Northern Flicker woodpeckers (Colaptes auatus). They are known for being quite shy, so...wait, I'm getting ahead of myself!

While walking my dog on our way back home, I spotted a woodpecker a block away. I hurried my pace, hoping he'd still be there a few minutes later after I grabbed my camera.

I rushed in the door, grabbed the camera, released the dog, and headed back out. When I reached the spot where I had seen the woodpecker earlier, I couldn't spot him.

That's when I noticed a flicker of movement. Several Northern Flickers were busy playing in a sprinkler. It was one of those 'I can't believe what I am seeing' moments. Excited, I got on my belly, snaked through the grass an inch at a time hoping to get closer. (I still couldn't believe what I was seeing!)

A couple hundred feet away, and still crawling closer to them, a couple of new woodpeckers joined the party. Only, instead of joining the males for the bathing party, they decided playing chase on the lawn was more fun.

I stopped where I was (I'd managed to get several shots of them playing in the water - future postings, promised), and simply watched.

Moments passed; I began taking new photos. At first, they didn't seem to notice me. Within seconds that changed. With several pairs of eyes on me, I stopped clicking the shutter, waiting them out. Eventually, they deemed me to be safe and continued with their play.

I tell you, it was awesome! They'd chase each other, thrust out their chests, coo, whistle, and click, before the entire thing would start again.

Mostly, they were males.

I'm not sure how much time passed; perhaps ten minutes, perhaps more. Regardless, one bird in particular was feeling rather bold and especially energetic. He decided to include me in their play.

The bird posted here repeatedly placed his head under his wing, peeked at me, cooed, and whistled. Then he'd stop, look at me, glance at the other birds before he cooed again. Here, in this photo, he is cooing.

Only later did I appreciate the fact that he included me in his play. As we played peek-a-boo (for lack of a better term), other woodpeckers joined in. They'd match him coo for coo, click for click, and whistle for whistle.

I've always herd the term 'blissful' but until the other day, I've never had an image to relate to. Bliss folks, is what these birds were in.

They seemed to be on a natural high, and while they playfully repeated this particular bird's different vocal sounds, they did not join in on his under the wing game with me.

The English language lacks the ability to express my love, excitement, and honor I felt - but hopefully you can understand my enthusiasm.

While these photos may not be 100% perfect, they show a side of playful wild woodpeckers engrossed in play - and I will post them as I can. I only wish I could be here a little more often these day...still, I figured you would appreciate my experience...

Until later, take care.
Kathy :-)

Ps: No tripod was used - I was on my belly the entire time just hoping for the best!

nglen, Royaldevon, eqshannon, inked, CeltickRanger, mariki, NinaM has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-10-17 10:54]

Hi Kathy. This is a fine shot of the Woodpecker. You have taken it with fine detail and natural colours. I like the pose with the bird looking up. well done TFS Good notes too on how you got the shot.

Have a good weekend.

Hello Kathy,

An amazing story and one which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It is sometimes difficult to express to others the emotion you have felt at some special interaction with Nature. I think you did a very good job here!

With your notes, and the photograph, the scenario is complete. This is an excellent shot: the image is sharp and detailed, the pov is original and the composition great!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Kathy, what a beautiful story about that precious baby. This is a beautiful shot of this Flicker. Have a great day.

Check out my personal website at:
Bill Houghton Photography

Very nice Kathy..It is the best of the bunch You sent me for colours and clear well done image..Loving to death. Front page!

  • Great 
  • inked Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 132 W: 0 N: 249] (771)
  • [2008-10-17 20:31]

hi Kathy,
fantastic shot, and a good read to go with it. love the color and detail in those feathers. great stuff. well done

I'm am happy for your experience with these pretty birds. I've always thought they are so attractive. My husband however always chases them away because for some reason they want to drill holes in our house!! I'd like a photo of you sidling up to these guys on your belly... avoiding the sprinklers I hope!

Congratulations on the newest member of your family. I hope that you are feeling ok too.

TFS a nice image of this flicker cooing to you!

Evelynn ; )

hello Kathy

an excellent image of this woodpecker, i love the POV
of your image with his pose, excellent sharpness
and details of its plumage, TFS


Hello Kathy,

Very nice capture of this beautiful bird. Excellent sharpness. Great detail of the plumage. Wonderful colours.

Haven't I seen this one somewhere? ha ha
Great shot - hard to keep 'em steady without a tripod but you did well.
I hope you're feeling better.
Take care!

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-11-23 7:25]

A great story, Kathy, and a great shot too! You are so close, we see the whole bird with so much details, it is perfect. Given the excitment you were living, the composition is also superb. I am very happy for you, you seem to have a gift with animals and birds, lucky you and lucky us to be able to enjoy those moments through your pictures and notes. Even mooses, wow! I was impressed because even native people say to be aware and prudent when meeting with one. You simply communicate with animals. God bless you, Kathy!


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