I made a trip to McKinney Falls State Park with hopes of photographing some birds in the wild. There were not many birds visible to photograph but I did find this wonderful Red-bellied Woodpecker in a tree on the other side of Onion Creek. The bird was about 100 feet away and I was able to hand-hold my camera with my 600mm lens to photograph this beautiful specimen. I have a new appreciation for individuals who try to photograph birds in their natural habitat, especially hand-holding very heavy gear. I had a great time though.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers sometimes wedge large nuts into the crevices of a tree then whack them into smaller pieces using their beaks. They also use these crevices to store their food for later in the year. These birds have also been known to take over the nests of other birds but more often than not their nests are taken over by European Starlings. I guess “what comes around goes around”. Another interesting fact is that a Red-bellied Woodpecker can stick out its tongue nearly two inches past the tip of its beak. This is to make it easier to snatch prey from deep crevices.
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5DS using my Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Sports Lens set on 600 mm. The camera was set on Shutter priority mode with the aperture set at f/7.1, shutter speed at 1/1250th of a second and the ISO set at 800.
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