Woody Woodpecker?

“While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.”

– from The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe

Clearly, the bird in question is not a raven. Nor is it gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

Our reference guide, Smithsonian Birds of North America, suggests this is a female downy woodpecker.

So what is it, you may ask, without your handy bird guide to help identify the woodpecker/sapsucker in question? Let us see …

Well, this appears to be a female downy woodpecker – probably too small to be a hairy woodpecker, which otherwise is pretty similar. The males have a red occipital patch, which appears to be absent here.

I ventured a bit off the bike path near Water Works in Cuyahoga Falls to find this little tapper working on some deadwood.

I also spotted an osprey, which from a distance looked a little like a bald eagle. The Water Works area had an osprey nest last year, so that was the more likely resident again this year. I didn’t see any activity at the nest.

I did some major cropping on these images, which were a tad washed out to begin with, so these ain’t the greatest. Maybe next time I won’t shoot in midday sun.

The osprey, fierce hunter of fish, keeps watch over its domain.

Empty nester?