20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Common Merganser coming out of Pileated Woodpecker hole.

I spent 5 hours photographing this Pileated Woodpecker hole, watching both parents coming in to feed the last remaining baby. Much to my amazement, a Common Merganser came out of the hole, leaving the baby still inside. Dad immediately flew over and peered inside the hole. The Merganser poked it's head out, and for a few seconds the two birds were beak-to-beak. Shortly after that, the Merganser flew off. Several hours later the baby fledged the nest.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 06.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: South Hampton, New Hampshire, New Hampshire, United States of America
Camera: NIKON D5
Copyright: © Katherine Davis