Mamas and little ones…

Mamas and little ones…

Instructions for living a life:

Pay Attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

Mary Oliver, in Sometimes

The last couple of weeks have been filled with little ones fledging, and the mothers who care for them.

I have been completely astonished, captivated really, by this little Downy Woodpecker who has been a constant visitor to the bubbling (water) rock and the suet feeders. I was concerned at first, because she was spending so much carefree time out in the open (oh the hawks!!), and her first several attempts to reach the suet feeder resulted in slides down the pole much like a fireman. Yet her Mama has been ever attentive, and has been carefully feeding this little one, who now looks confident in flight and seems to eat her weight in suet each day.

Have I mentioned the birds have been going through two suet cakes each day!!?? 😉

I should add that although I refer to this little one as ‘she’, I’m really not sure about that. Juvenile Downies have a red cap, and ‘her’ cap is significantly less red and begins further back then another recently fledged little one, so I’ve come to think of this fledgling as a ‘she’.

Here is the one who visits for long periods each day:




and with her Mama

and now, one week later, confidently flying from a nearby tree


although I do wish she would select one of the already dead trees, rather than one of the healthy ones, to practice her woodpecker skills 🙂


For comparison, here is Papa with another fledgling


There have been other youngsters as well, including this Northern Cardinal with a great hairdo…DSCN9296


And a Mama Wood Duck with her little ones…



This past week also included a return visit to northern Frederick County for more looks at the Red-Headed Woodpeckers. They are so beautiful to see!



And lastly, as an oh so proud mama, I’m sending birthday wishes to another (no-longer-so) little one. It seems like just yesterday you fledged and found your wings. I love you with all my heart, my dear one. xoxo

andrei 1




4 thoughts on “Mamas and little ones…

  1. your posts make me SOOOOO happy! i love your photos, the red-headed woodpecker from behind/above stopped me in my tracks. i love that the babies at your house show little timidity. i am certain they sense that they are in safe territory, and thus have few inhibitions about being out in the open. and your little fledgling is simply adorable. happy mama day!!!


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