Mission: To promote the appreciation of wildlife on and around Union Bay and a higher level of harmony between humanity and nature.

(It is fine for educators and artists to use any of the photos on this blog as long as when publicly displaying the photo or related artwork the following comment is included, "The original photo sourced from http://unionbaywatch.blogspot.com".)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rock Star Babies : Rock Around the Bay

These rock and roll brothers were clearly born to rock... 
...the trees.

At times they even seem to be rehearsing their dance routine. 

Right:

Left:

Right:

In truth they are just looking for love....

...in the form of food deliveries from Mom and Dad. 

Sometimes the competition can be a bit rough.
(Did you notice how that the eyelids close for protection when there are multiple sharp beaks in the neighborhood? Even Elvis will usually close his eyes when feeding these rambunctious young rock stars.)

There are multiple methods for reducing the rivalry for resources. You can Nip the Problem in the Bud like we saw in the preceding photo. You can also try to Squeeze out the Competition....

...or there is the more direct Going for the Jugular approach.

In any case the parents do attempt to evenly distribute the love.

Still as this video demonstrates the older brother does have the upper hand, so to speak.


The transformation from hatchlings to rock stars has been rapid and dramatic. Here is one of the initial images. The bold red and black coloring starts out as a mild pink and grey.

Within a day or two both of the baby birds are visible and actively demanding food.
Still the transformation is amazing. Less than two weeks ago they were scrawny and basically unaware of their environment. While one week ago they were becoming aware of the world... 
and then turning into miniature adult "Rock Stars". Most of the photos above were from yesterday morning and reportedly by last night one of the young birds had fledged, e.g. learned to fly, and left the nest.

The expected feeding area for these young birds should be similar to where we have had Elvis sightings. Hopefully, we will get to see them from Interlaken to Foster Island.  Maybe in the Gateway Parks or even at the Montlake Community Center. Remember they are males so they have the red malar stripe.  They are a bit smaller than the parents but that will be hard to see if they are not side by side. The bottom half of their beaks also appears to be slightly shorter than the top half. 
This is not true for the adults so it will be interesting to see how long it takes to grow out. Plus their top knots are still not the flaming red of the parents. Plus there is one more curious difference. If you look at the young from the back they appear to have a bald spot in the middle of their top knot. You can see one at about 34 seconds into the video, above. 

Please feel free to leave a message in the comments below telling when and where you see Elvis or his Rock Star Babies.

Have a great day on Union Bay....where nature lives in the city!

Larry


10 comments:

  1. Wow, kudos to you, Larry. This is THE BEST!

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    1. Thank you! I have really enjoyed watching and learning about these Pileated Woodpeckers.

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  2. We enjoy these posts so much. Thanks for sending them.

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    1. You are welcome. The pleasure is mine, literally. :-)

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  3. Really enjoy these postings. I wonder about the wildlife every time I cross the bridge.

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    1. That is the first goal, to inspire thoughts about the wildlife around Union Bay. Hopefully, we can work together to help restore more of nature. For example someday maybe we could get salmon spawning in Arboretum Creek, again. It could become an example to the world of how nature can live in balance with people in a city.

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  4. Oh my gosh Larry! Such captivating pictures as always and wonderful information. I am moving from Montlake this month but I will continue following your blog. It's fabulous! :)

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    1. Thank you. We are certinly lucky to live in a place like Montlake that is right next to Union Bay. However I have a theory that nature is everywhere and if we take the time to look it will reveal itself to us. I would hope you might try to prove my theory by observing nature in your new location. I hope you find great beauty and the peace that comes from being one with nature. All the best.

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  5. Thank-you for these photos. They are amazing. I have been enjoying your blog. This latest on the woodpeckers is fascinating!

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    1. You are welcome. I have to admit the baby pileated woodpeckers are one of my favorites as well.

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