Jul 15 2014
Songbirds grow up so fast that within days of fledging they aren’t babies anymore.
Suddenly they are teenagers — able to find their own food, almost independent of their parents, a little cocky and a little unsure of the world.
Marcy Cunkelman captured these photos of teenage woodpeckers in her garden.
Above, a young downy woodpecker looks like an adult except for the colors on his head. He fledged with a splash of red on top but that will soon be replaced with black feathers and the red will move to his nape. Meanwhile he shows off an intricate black-and-white pattern on his forehead as he looks calmly at the camera.
Below, a young red-bellied woodpecker has subtle colors on his face and head with dull gray cheeks and faint orange on his nape. He looks startled. “What is a camera? Is it dangerous?”
Perhaps your backyard has more starlings than woodpeckers. (Mine does.) Click here to see what teenage starlings look like.
(photos by Marcy Cunkelman)