Lewis’s Woodpecker Feeding Young

By | June 29, 2013

I was camping near the San Antonio Mountain in New Mexico when I noticed a Lewis’s Woodpecker flying to a dead tree several times. I kept watching and discovered that it was flying to a hole in the tree and it was feeding its young.

I at first had no idea what type of bird this was and I had to do some research on my ibird app. The cool thing that these woodpeckers were doing was that they were catching insects in the air during flight. I tried to photograph this but was unsuccessful. Something else that I noticed was that in the late evening the female started placing insects in a small hole for storage.

Tomorrow I will post photos of Kestrels that had a nest in this same tree.

A Lewis's Woodpecker Photo

A Lewis’s Woodpecker In Carson National Forest In New Mexico

Lewis’s Woodpecker Feeding Young Photo

A Lewis’s Woodpecker Feeding Young

A Lewis's Woodpecker In A Hole Photo

A Lewis’s Woodpecker Leaving The Nest

A Lewis's Woodpecker With An Insect Photo

A Lewis’s Woodpecker With An Insect

Lewis’s Woodpecker engages in some rather un-woodpecker-like behavior in its gregarious feeding habits. Although it does forage for insects by boring into trees with its chisel-like bill, the bird also catches insects in the air during flight, (typical insect hawking), a habit that only a few other woodpeckers, such as the Acorn woodpecker, the Red-headed Woodpecker and the Northern flicker, engage in. Lewis’s Woodpecker also feeds on berries and nuts, and will even shell and store nuts in cracks and holes in wood to store until winter. It will also feed at flat, open bird feeders where it might act aggressively toward other birds.

Lewis’s Woodpecker nests in a cavity excavated from a dead tree branch. The nest is constructed mainly by the male. The female will lay between 5 and 9 eggs, which are plain white in coloration. Incubation is done by both sexes – the female sitting during the day and the male sitting at night – and lasts approximately 12 days, after which the young will hatch. The young leave the nest 4 to 5 weeks after hatching. (Wikipedia)

Author: Steve Creek

An Arkansas-based wildlife photographer specializing in the wildlife found in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Steve’s images are created from his overwhelming passion for being outdoors with cameras in tow.

0 thoughts on “Lewis’s Woodpecker Feeding Young

  1. Cindy

    Cool bird of which I too had never heard. Great pics & interesting info!

  2. Bonnie

    Hello, I just wanted to say that I appreciate the long hours you put in. I have done some wildlife photography, so have some idea how much time you spend, sometimes getting a shot in a short while, sometimes in long hours, and sometimes not at all. I wanted you to know what a joy it is to open each interesting and beautiful email from you. It makes my day to have a moment of what appears to be peaceful times. Even though I know that you are working so hard. I was thinking how many times I look out the windows of my home in the Ocala National Forest, just hoping to see a deer or two. And how rewarding it is to see one. Then of course I have to wait til it moves out of sight. They are so nice to watch in their own way of life. They are so cautious. keeping an eye out at all times. Two bites, a look, a couple of more bites, another look. When leaving a sheltered area, a long intense look to see if anything else is moving. I love it. Thanks for bringing so many other animals and birds close up for me to see.

  3. Steve Creek Post author

    What an awesome comment Bonnie! You made my day! We wildlife photographers are a special type of person that will take the time to watch wildlife and if we can make a photograph that is a bonus. Have a wonderful day my friend. It seems like you live in an amazing place.