I was playing with my dog in the yard this week when I heard a commotion in the woods beyond our fence.
Branches were rustling, and squeaking noises got louder as I tried to pinpoint the source of the noise.
Our woods are thick pine and palm scrub, with scattered oaks. We regularly have squirrels, raccoons, possums and birds, with the occasional bobcat, coyote or deer wandering through. I thought at first I was hearing squirrels, but once I got into the shade under the tree canopy I spotted a group of birds hopping around about 20 feet off the ground.
It was hard to count them because of all the hopping around. My best guess is seven birds - two adult red-bellied woodpeckers, and at least five young!
By the time I grabbed my camera, I had just a few seconds before they flew away.
I only managed to get a few shots of the juveniles, but I'll be watching for them to come back! We've seen the occasional adult red-bellied woodpecker at our feeders before, but I've never seen a group of them together, nor have I witnessed new fliers exploring the woods for (maybe?) the first time.