Who needs a plan?

One minute I’m in a peaceful forest and in the next an enthusiastic woodpecker takes over. The sounds seem to come from everywhere.

I am thrilled to get distracted from chasing chickadees with ADD.  This is a larger, more significant bird with real capability. There could be lessons to learn.

I am fascinated to watch the woodpecker use the force from its entire body to slam that beak deep into a tree branch. This hammer-drill approach that gets an important result – lunch. Good strategy.

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It is also quick. In an instant it is on another branch, a few beak blows later it is on another tree.

woodpecker, Saskatchewan, downy woodpecker, beak, tree

Some holes got deeper than others as the hunt for food continued.

Before long it is back to the original tree – I begin to see more madness than method. Perhaps all that brain-rattling activity damaged the woodpecker’s ability to focus.

Despite any pretence of a plan, the woodpecker quickly finds new locations to hammer away. In just a few minutes, it leaves behind a myriad of unfilled tree holes and a dizzy photographer.

Along the way, the woodpecker found fuzzy yellow morsels that didn’t look particularly appetizing but quickly went down the hatch. Protein!

woodpecker, Saskatchewan, downy woodpecker, beak, tree, eating

No style points here – the eating process looked a bit awkward.

I was impressed with the solid work ethic that kept the woodpecker in food. Who needs a good plan if you’re well fed.

What’s the moral of the story? Make noise, plan less and eat lots – sounds like the beginnings of a solid list of New Year’s resolutions. But then who needs a list?

woodpecker, Saskatchewan, downy woodpecker, beak, tree, eating

Triumphantly showing off food!

woodpecker, Saskatchewan, downy woodpecker, beak, tree, tongue

I was amused to learn that a woodpecker has the strangest looking tongue.

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Latest Comments

  1. photographybycalliec says:

    wow I have never seen one of these birds, I have heard of them. Excellent shots, so sharp!
    Cheers Callie

    Like

  2. Pani Peonia says:

    The tongue looks like a tool.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      It’s a fascinating piece of equipment all right. I had to check with someone who knows a lot about birds and he confirmed it was a tongue and it’s used to grab the food and reel it in so that sounds like a tool as well.

      Like

  3. Phil Lanoue says:

    Fantastic pics of ole Woody here! And now with 20% more tongue! Gotta love that!
    These guys do amaze me and good eye on your part to capture this bird in action.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks Phil. There was a lot of action to capture – sometimes too much in too many places. Good thing there were no leaves on the trees. Your 20% more tongue comment is hilarious.

      Like

  4. Brian says:

    Lyle, your pics amaze me!!

    Like

  5. rachel bar says:

    Love the combination of pictures and writings. You do it well!

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      I’m glad you like the combination. I figured out early on it would be a lot easier just to post the photos but challenged myself to write something as well for each post. It’s good discipline and a lot of fun when it come together. A little less fun when I get stuck.

      Like

  6. Scott Marshall says:

    magnificent – what sort of lens here Lyle?

    Like

  7. FeyGirl says:

    What a great post, and such beautiful shots of a *difficult* critter…. 🙂

    Like

  8. Rexlin Victor says:

    Wow, amazing shot!!

    Like

  9. Mike Powell says:

    Wow, those are impressive shots of a woodpecker, Lyle. You either had a long lens, a cooperative woodpecker, or both. You also had one of the most effective uses of a slide show I’ve seen in a blog to show the hammering action of the woodpecker. And, of course, I couldn’t help but laugh at the conclusions you drew from the actions of the woodpecker.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Some days the star all align. I had my long lens with me on a tripod and the woodpecker magically came to the area and proceeded to hammer away. I even got unobstructed views for the most part. I need to remember days like that when nothing appears. I’m pleased you like the slideshow – I was fortunate that it worked out so well and then it took a long time to figure out how to add the other photos so they weren’t in a slide show. Appreciate the comments.

      Like

  10. Sydney Fong says:

    I never had a chance to look at woodpecker in this close distance, if not my eyes will be in danger! great to share this post, thanks! cheers!

    Like

  11. garyschollmeier says:

    Wonderful post Lyle.

    Like

  12. vanbraman says:

    I really like this woodpecker. Nice pictures. It must be a day for birds. I posted about a Red Tailed Hawk.

    Like

  13. artsifrtsy says:

    Wow – I have never seen their tongues – this looks like a downy – I have them here too. I love how they swoop when they fly. Great set, I love the slide show at the top.

    Like

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