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Following Garrett

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Speaking of rarely-noticed things...

I mentioned in an earlier post that both the red-bellied woodpecker and red-headed woodpecker are in the genus Melanerpes. One of the hallmarks of the genus is a propensity to store food (think of the acorn woodpecker, infamous for pocking cabin siding with acorn-stuffed holes).

 Here's Garrett's golden midline. This is one of my favorite pictures of him. A bit penguiny, full of character. Many red-headeds show considerably more blush on the belly than Garrett; sometimes it is almost as rich a color as the red-bellied's. The first time I saw it was when examining museum skins. I never knew they had such colorful bellies! but then woodpeckers usually have their bellies up against tree trunks.

Here's the Melanerpes mark on the red-belly. 

I'm not the only one playing paparazzo to Garret's movie star. Phoebe caught these wonderful photos of him sipping from a rain puddle on the deck. 


and twisting a peanut from our feeder. I feed roasted cocktail peanuts. You used to be able to find them unsalted, but no more. The salt doesn't seem to hurt anyone.

Sometimes the outtakes are more fun than the best photos. Garrett plays peek-a-boo with me.

Who's there?

Give me a hint.

Oh, I get it. It's Garrett!

I knew it was you all along.

And I knew it was you, too. Good morning! 

Pensive Garrett, looking his handsomest on a dark day.


Gorgeous birds and great photos. Lucky you, I would love to see the Redheaded woodie in my yard.

One can never have too many photos of such a bird.

So great you have a bird's eye view of Garrett's antics and daily habits. Nothing like it.

Posted by Anonymous January 26, 2012 at 4:57 AM

It is a real treat to follow this story. But I am wondering How Phoebe Linnean nomenclature works -- why Garrett?

You have some awesome photos there! That is a great bird for a yard list!

Amazing that he wasn't called a golden-bellied woodpecker....Most folks think our red-bellied woodpeckers are red-headed WP. It is such a treat to see those bellies. Love Garrett playing peek with you.

Kathy in Delray Beach

Posted by Anonymous January 26, 2012 at 7:12 AM

What a hottie!

*sigh* Great photos...all of them!

Garrett... easily the most famous woodpecker evuh from Whipple, OH.

Peekaboo with a bird. Now, that's my style.

How wonderful that he has come to stay. Great pics. Handsome boy!

Lovely photos of a beautiful bird. Peek-a-boo...haha ;-)

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