For some time, I've been pretty sure that the pair of red-bellied woodpeckers who visit our feeder have been raising a family. From time to time, I've seen them carry seeds off into the distance, rather than stopping nearby to bang them open on a tree and eat them immediately. I'm not quite sure where the nest was, but it turns out I was right.
During a rainy afternoon yesterday, the pair brought a youngster over to visit the feeder. They seemed to be teaching him to grab a seed, take it to the nearest palm tree, and crack it open so he could eat it. At one point, I saw one adult offer a freshly cracked seed to his offspring, who plucked it delicately from his beak.
I wasn't able to get particularly good pictures, as every time I opened the door of the porch to go outside (no matter how quietly and carefully!), they flew off. So, the few shots I have are through the screen, and a bit blurry. Still, you can see how the little guy doesn't yet have the distinctive red coloring on it's head. He or she will develop this gradually over the coming months so that by next spring, the bright coloration will show a readiness to mate.
It's good knowing My Florida Backyard helps local wildlife not only survive, but multiply!