Danville, KY 40422, USA
I was watching the female Downy Woodpecker as she ate from the suet feeder. Suddenly, a male flew up and scared her away. Then a female Baltimore Oriole flew up and scared him away. I happened to look out my window at the oak, and I saw both Downy Woodpeckers sitting on the dead limb. I glimpsed a blur of feathers, and it took me a second to comprehend that they were mating! I’m so excited that I caught that out in the wild!!! Ive seen Barn Owls and Bald Eagles mating on camera, but I’ve never seen it with my own eyes out in nature! It was so cool! I have seen the Downy Woodpeckers pecking at it, but they were moving up and down the branch, so I thought they were only searching for bugs. I’m thinking about climbing that tree in search of a nest cavity, but I don’t want to have to go to all that work to drag a heavy ladder up to it if there’s no nest, so do birds typically only mate at or near the nest site, or do they mate wherever?