The population of woodpeckers here has been growing in the last few years. The invasion of emerald ash borer is devastating the urban forest. This insect has no natural predator here so the population is increasing exponentially. For the woodpeckers this insect is a source of food which has caused an increase in the number of birds.
I am not saying that I am pleased with that because the damage done to the urban forest will probably mean that the ash tree will be wiped out of the city in less than 5 years. Cutting down so many trees also means problem for other species of bird, but for woodpecker, well they are happier. So what was a rarer sight just a few years ago is more common today.
It’s rare that I am able to catch a small bird from above, usually I am below. I was walking the pathway and then there he was, just below me. This Pileated Woodpecker took me by surprise, I was not expecting to get so close. I was so not ready my shutter speed was still at 1/30 s which is way too slow for bird photography but luck was on my side. This woodpecker stayed still just enough time for me to get one shot at 1/30 s.
The second one, a female Northen Flicker, she was on the grass trying to catch to lunch.