Our garden is now in that wonderful lush state that mid-summer brings and we have been host recently to a range of birds feeding young.
Among the most endearing has been a pair of adult Downy Woodpeckers Picoides pubescens with just one juvenile male. Over time they have become more and more accustomed to us and now if we sit quietly at the patio table they carry on with their business quite unconcerned.
Both parents are active in feeding their youngster but from what we have observed the male seems to do the lion's share of the work.
However, the female is never far away and gets involved too.
The male is quite an acrobat (as are all woodpeckers, of course) and seems to prefer to hang from the bottom of the suet feeder and sometimes remains there motionless for minutes on end.
We have been left wondering what mishap might have befallen the other young of this pair's clutch, but the remaining offspring seems healthy and robust and is no doubt benefitting from exclusive access to parental care. He is perfectly capable of feeding himself but whenever an adult is near he reverts to wing fluttering and begging for food, to which the parent responds without fail.
We certainly have enjoyed being a witness to this woodpecker saga and will be a little sad perhaps when the youngster gains full independence and no longer comes as part of a family group.