Friday, August 3, 2012

Gila woodpecker vs. Hummingbird Feeder, San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, AZ


A Gila Woodpecker wondering how to get a drink from this hummingbird feeder, San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, AZ; 4/10/2012.
While I was birding out in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area last April, I had fun watching a pair of Gila Woodpeckers trying to figure out how to get a meal out of the local bird feeders that wern't exactly suited to their body styles. First of all, the female Gila (Above) was trying to get a sip of nectar from a hummingbird feeder. She landed on it and looked at the feeder, not finding how to get to the liquid.

"Wait a minute...There's a little hole in here."
Then notices there are little holes in the bottom section. Using her tail to balance her position, she tried to bend her neck to reach one of the holes.

But she kept slipping down (Above).

"Let's try this side."
She flew off and returned to try another angle (Above).

"A little help...please"
She looked at me taking pictures almost as if she was asking for suggestions, and wondering I was just standing there and not helping her out.

"Ah Hah!"

Eventually, she was able to position herself in a way to get the tip of her bill into one of the holes.

Meanwhile a Black-chinned Hummer kept circling, wondering when the big hummer is going to leave.
All the while this was going on, a female Black-chinned Hummingbird kept circling the feeder, getting impatient with the Gila Woodpecker for hogging her territory (above).

Meanwhile, a male Gila WP tried his luck on another feeder,  San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, AZ; 4/10/2012.
A male Gila Woodpecker (Above) landed on another feeder suited more for smaller birds such as sparrows, finches, and chickadees. He also was trying to figure how to position himself to get to the openings which would lead him to his meal.
It was almost as if he was thinking about how to do this - going over strategy in his mind.
Sliding down
He is starting to employ his strategy, as he started inching his way down the feeder.
"Nobody's watching, right?"
He also gave a look, as did the female on the hummer feeder, of "am I doing this right?"

"I think I get it."
However, he never did get is bill in the feeder hole. Giving up, he flew off.

It was fun moment of birds trying out their problem solving skills.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These photo's are so amusing.
I'm surprised the humming bird did not
dive bomb the woodpecker on her feeder.