Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Of wings… or the attack of the red bellied


I’ve hidden my babies over here.

It’s that time of year where a walk through the woods reveals babies everywhere.

Hurry up, I only have a 10 minute break from the babies this morning, lady!

I visited my favorite park early one morning after a night of rain.

Did you bring us all something to eat?

The parking lot was virtually empty, and the birds were frantic for some breakfast.

Make way! I, the big bad red-winged blackbird require food!

Swarms of blackbirds and starlings swirled around me. The little birds tried to get some attention too.

Talk to the wing, blackbird!

They lined up on the railing for a chance to get something to eat.

“Lady! We’re hungry!”

The rose breasted grosbeak got first dibs. Just based on beauty. Plus he was pushy.

Nom, nom, nom Thanks lady!

Even the mourning dove hopped over to get a treat. I’ve never had either the grosbeak or a dove land in my hand before.

“This is a joke, right? Did that pig the grosbeak eat all the treats?”

Eventually everybody got something.

“About time, lady.”

And then I went on down the trail

“Come on into the woods, lady. It’s not your responsibility to get them ALL fed.”

Where I quickly ran into this family out for a morning stroll. I first noticed an adult with a teenager almost as tall. Notice the teenager’s knees.

“Meet my son, Junior.”

Then the other parent emerged from the trees to complete the family.

“Come on over this way, mom and dad, I think the best stuff is on the other side of the trail.”

Once I edged carefully by them, which wasn’t easy because one of the parents was keeping an evil eye on me, I found a papa red bellied woodpecker. And his son.

“Watch this, son.”

To be accurate, I didn’t find him. He got my attention when he dive bombed me. Repeatedly.

He wasn’t interested in coming in for a treat. He flew right at me, did a touch down on my head and landed in a tree behind me. Then he came back and hit me in the head before landing back in the tree with his young one.

“I see you lady, move on down the road, OK?”

He did this over and over, as I continued to duck and weave and move on down the trail.

Eventually he picked up a bit of seed that I had flung behind me as a desperate distraction and perched on a broken branch to peck it open.

“First you have to crack the seed open, son.”

And then he fed it to his youngster who had been following all the excitement eagerly.

“Here, taste this, pretty good, ey?”

I crept away as they were eating.

Lots of little birds came in for a snack once I was away from the attacking woodpecker.


I enjoyed their visits in the quiet woods.

“Coming in for a landing, lady!”

It was peaceful out there, not many people wandering the trails.

“Good morning mama.”

And then I heard a squealing and yelling headed in my direction.

“This way!”

The quiet of the woods was interrupted, but I was OK with that. Kids need to spend time outside too.

“Thanks for the dive-through service, lady!”

So I headed out to the rookery to see if any of the teenagers were still there.

“Where’s the lunch lady?”

Many of them were. I guess they’re planning on staying as long as mom and dad are willing to feed them.

I witnessed one parent arriving with something good to eat. The craziness is hard to sort out in pictures. And the noise was amazing.

“OK, ok. I’m here with lunch. Settle down you two!”

Personally I think it’s time the folks kick the kids out. Most of them are flying from their nests to other branches, but come back to the nest for food.

“Hey! I want some over here too!”

None of the commotion appeared to distract the egret, just below, from continuing his grooming. Egrets move in when the herons leave the rookery. This guy was early I guess.

“Kids. Can’t wait until the neighbors move out!”

And then I left the park, stopping for a moment to check on the osprey nest where the youngsters were flexing their wings too.

“Hey! I think I’m getting this flying thing!”

Another good walk in the woods.

So peaceful. So fun. So exciting. You take your pick around here!

Babies everywhere, all growing up so fast.

“Parenting is so exhausting.”

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

28 thoughts on “Of wings… or the attack of the red bellied

  1. We have several sites we go to and hike around. I have my camera ready; husband has his binoculars. And we stand there and listen. Nothing. Not a darn bird, squirrel…nothing. This is why I love your photos–especially the babies and the knobby knees! You have so much to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like a nice walk with the birds.


  3. I love your bird (and starry night) posts. I am inspired to be more patient and learn. I am looking forward to watching the birds in the backyard when I get home. Have a fabulous Sunday. Peace.


  4. A dove ate from your hand, too?? Wow, that’s amazing, Dawn — you must be a Bird Whisperer!! Poor Domer has fits with the red-winged blackbirds swarming at him while he’s playing golf. When he was in Minnesota, he had swallows; now, it’s blackbirds. They seem to gravitate to where he is!


  5. This was an absolutely spectacular post, Dawn! That woodpecker was muy aggressive, though! So love this whole group of photos.


  6. Wow, love the grosbeak, and the ospreys, and everything, I love all of it, every photo! And your fun interpretation of what the birds are saying/thinking. Extraordinary photos!


    • Thanks. It was a pretty extraordinary walk. I’ve never had a grosbeak in my hand, though I’d seen pictures people were posting about this particular bird. Never had a mourning dove show any interest in getting on my hand either, but this guy (or gal) was really hungry. Surprisingly he was pretty assertive with his bill, and I said “OUCH!” a couple times, then dropped some seed on the ground for him. No sense of perspective I guess, in those beady eyes, didn’t know where my hand was!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow – great photos. That’s a fun variety of birds. I’m so impressed that you can get photos while you’re feeding the birds. You’ve inspired me to try and hold my camera one-handed. Are you shooting in manual mode or auto mode when you’re feeding the birds?


  8. Hi Dawn! What a wonderful morning walk in the woods! Daddy woodpecker was super protective. The grosbeak and dove look like they were posing for their dinner. The photos where you captured the birds in motion landing or taking off on your hand are spectacular! How do you capture the shots? Sport or manual mode, museum or quiet setting, holding the shutter button down to capture as many shots possible? Wow! I am equally in awe of the birds landing on your hand to feed as well as you being able to take awesome pics while it is happening! 🙇🏻‍♀️ Thank you for sharing! 😊


    • I’m almost always in aperture priority mode, though I push the shutter speed up by increasing the iso. Try to get it to 1/2000 to catch wing movement. Don’t know if I did quite that on these images. Sport mode would probably work. I also have the camera set to shoot as many images as the finger holds the shutter down for. Though I usually only take a couple, maybe 4 or 5 at most when a bird is landing or leaving. There are a lot of not good images too. I wasn’t really intending to get wings this time, so don’t know if I had the settings right, don’t think so, but these two shots were acceptable.


      • Thank you for sharing your camera settings. Even if a photo does not turn out like we had hoped, capturing the moment always makes it worthwhile. 😊

        Have a nice 4th of July! I am not looking forward to the evening when multiple homes near me set off fireworks. The noise makes Gracie frantic – I hope she will be asleep when it starts. 🤞🏻


  9. Love the pics. Looks like a great time.


  10. Love those cranes! you see a lot of birds, Dawn, and your photos of them are great, but I think I’d be running for the car if a woodpecker was dive-bombing me!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! I say that a lot in response to your posts 😊

    You should work for the Michigan Dept of Tourism. Sure seems like a special place.

    Liked by 1 person

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