David and Goliath

downy woodpecker, pileated woodpecker

David and Goliath.

The Pileated Woodpecker, 17 inches top to tail tip, is Ohio’s largest woodpecker. Conversely, the Downy Woodpecker is Ohio’s smallest at a mere 6.5 inches long.* The two are seldom seen together. If they happen to arrive in the same area, the Downy quickly knows its place. It is no physical match for the impressive Piliated.

I recently was watching and photographing a male Pileated Woodpecker feed on the peanut butter suet feeder that hangs in my backyard. Imagine my surprise when a male Downy Woodpecker suddenly dropped onto the feeder and seemingly challenged its mega-sized cousin. It was both a once-in-a-lifetime moment and a David vs. Goliath situation. I was extremely fortunate to capture this brief confrontation before the Downy decided to wait its turn.

“David and Goliath” is my Photo of the Week.

*Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America, 2000, Kenn Kaufman, p. 214 & p. 218.

© Bruce Stambaugh 2017


Filed under birding, birds, human interest, nature photography, Ohio, Ohio's Amish country, Photo of the Week, photography, rural life

10 responses to “David and Goliath

  1. Even I could tell you had an unusual photograph here, even before I read the post. Just for the fun of it, I’ll make it our afternoon post at Third Way’s Facebook page since you’re a Mennonite photographer and all. 🙂 (That’s my lens from which I pick posts for Third Way FB.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dynna Nemeskal

    Good morning Bruce. We have these birds in northern MI and I do feed the birds year around. While I see these at my feeders, I have never seen what you managed to capture. I so love this photo and your title is perfect. I have been following you for quite awhile and always enjoy your writings and photos. Thank you so much.


  3. Mary Rittenhouse

    Love your bird photos, Bruce. Hope your new location will bring lovely feathered surprises. Thanks for sharing your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an amazing picture! No worry my friend, the birds will find you in Virginia and I know you will find them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pamela lakits

    What an awesome moment to capture! I so love our feathered friends, they are a joy to behold. Thank you for sharing this unique photo with us.

    Liked by 1 person

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