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Old Dec 30, 2012, 7:06 PM   #1
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Default Whose Den Is It?

Was busy with some (rather rare) park office work the other day, when the sound of woodpecker work tempted me to step outside. Spotted a Downy Woodpecker, busy working on a new hole up in a dying Boxelder tree.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 7:09 PM   #2
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Downies don't nest this time of year, but they do use den-holes for winter shelter, and are very busy constructing or repairing these dens. This little woodpecker was so busy working, that, at first, he didn't notice the crazy man setting up the big tripod and even bigger lens...
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 7:12 PM   #3
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When he did notice me, he flew off with much very vocal scolding! I decided to wait to see if he might return. After a few minutes, someone else came by to check out the den. Carolina Chickadees often use old woodpecker holes, both for nesting and for winter shelter. This one apparently thought that the Downy was his "housing contractor!"
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 7:14 PM   #4
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Chickadee only stayed for a minute or so. I waited a few minutes longer (would much rather watch park birds than complete park paperwork...), to see if Downy would return. Was surprised to see his "big brother" at the same den. Hairy Woodpeckers look a lot like Downies - but look how much longer the beak is, compared to the head size. This Hairy only paused long enough for one photo (and one beak full of excavation work).
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 7:19 PM   #5
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Have not seen any of these birds back at the den since that day, but have seen more fresh chips on the ground, so one (or more) of them is continuing the den work! Wonder which one(s) will end up as the winter resident here?

As long as I'm posting bird photos here, hope you don't mind a few other recent ones:

Our Belted Kingfishers continue to be too shy for this (impatient) photographer, but I got a few fairly good snapshots of one in a lakeside Sycamore tree recently.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 7:22 PM   #6
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Still working to get some good shots of another very shy park bird. Here are the best so far of our Pied Billed Grebes. These little waterbirds pretend to ignore us, but dive as soon as the lens begins to point their way...
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 7:25 PM   #7
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Hope you enjoyed a few more glimpses of our East Tennessee "bird country!" Also hope you & yours have had a wonderful Christmas season!!

Thanks in advance for any comments & critique.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 7:40 PM   #8
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Very nice photos! I'm glad you posted the grebe pictures, now that I have the AFA, I might be able to get a picture of one. But I do know what you mean about them diving as soon as you try to take a picture of them.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 6:59 AM   #9
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More great photos. Sure was a busy tree for the woodpeckers. Wonder who will finally claim the hole.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 4:26 PM   #10
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Great shots and a nice little story about Woodpecker and the carpentry work they do.

That shot of the Canada Geese flock....looks odd....with the one Snow Goose joining in. I've never seen birds of a different feather join another specie's flock.

I'm not much of a bird expert, so I don't know how common that is ?
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