The One with the Ruby Crown
While all the other birds flew away as I approached, he stayed perched on his branch unconcerned. Even the Red-tail, with nothing to fear, wouldn’t let me within a couple hundred feet. But his highness let me walk right up as he posed for me. The acorns are nowhere to be found this year, so he was feasting on late season bugs. For now, however, he was content to rest, and watch me watching him. His breast feathers bled black into white. His ruby crown stood out in contrast against an unblemished, New Mexico sky. His talons were securely set into the branch of a dead ponderosa. And his tail feathers hung low below the branch in perfect shadowed symmetry. As I raised my camera, it was as if he knew what I wanted. He turned his head, he let the early morning sunlight put a glint in his eye, and he fixed his gaze on my lens. It was as if we had an understanding, and I walked away assuming it to be so.
Male Acorn Woodpecker; Los Alamos, New Mexico
NatureWildlifeBirdsWoodpeckersAcorn WoodpeckerLos AlamosNew Mexico