Several years ago, when I worked at a grooming shop that had bird feeders outside the window, I was able to witness something wonderful. A mama woodpecker brought her chick to a suet cage and carefully taught it how to find food there. I have hoped, ever since, to see a similar sight.
This morning, while I was outside doing chores, I heard a lot of activity at the bird feeder near the arbor. I glanced up, and to my total delight, saw a male Hairy Woodpecker with two chicks. The chicks look exactly like the adults, but perhaps a little fluffier. And they behave uniquely; fluttering their wings in a begging fashion, and vocalizing a lot.
I stood, transfixed...
The father, boasting red feathers on his head, fluttered about, showing the chicks where to go. He pulled bits of suet from the feeder and poked it into their greedy bills. Before long he moved off, and one chick approached the feeder on it's own, tasting the cake.
I keep suet out all year long, for this very reason. Adult birds come often, and I have waited anxiously to see them bring chicks. I have been richly rewarded. Hopefully the chicks will remember where to find a good feed and come back for years to come.
A bit later another creature came to the feeder...
Squirrels eat too much and can be destructive, but I don't get many here and this one was awfully cute.
I can hardly wait to see what sort of wildlife I'll get to glimpse tomorrow.