There’s a birdbath on my bedroom deck but I never remember to fill it with water, so it sits there like some long abandoned cast iron sundial, ignored by the neighborhood birds. Over the last couple of days, however, the rain has done my job for me. This morning I woke to the sounds of birds happily splashing around in the water. I lay in bed for a while, enjoying their cackling and whistling, promising myself that I would remember to fill the birdbath so that I could enjoy birdwatching more often. Since they seemed to want to stick around, I grabbed my camera, popped on the telephoto lens, carefully parted the blinds, and found myself face-to-face with a spectacular pair of woodpeckers. To my surprise, both had shunned the birdbath.
One, a Red-belied Woodpecker, was perched among the spiny stalks of the Bromeliads that line the deck railing. The flowers’ deep purple and red red cups were brim-full of rainwater, creating a natural birdbath for him. A common bird, but beautiful just the same. The other, a Red-cockaded Woodpecker, clung to the side of an old piece of driftwood that is home to dozens of air plants, pecking his heart away. Although much less showy in color and markings, this species is now classified as endangered and is a much rarer sight. The wonders of nature abound.