Start receiving our award-winning magazine today!

  • "Sunlight, camera..."  The Center for Conservation Biology's Mike Wilson uses a closed-circuit "peeper" camera to scout the first red-cockaded woodpecker nest at Piney Grove Preserve.
  • On nature's reality show, biologist Bryan Watts performs his own stunts. Here he's climbing a ladder he assembles one section at a time until reaching a nest.
  • "Action!" Bryan Watts prepares to fish a woodpecker chick from its nest cavity.
  • After their first take flops (almost literally, as a too-old chick evades capture on the nest floor), the biologists move on to the next nest location.
  • The woodpeckers get to wear the latest designer bands, with a unique number and color combination chosen especially for each star of the show.
  • The paparazzi descend as this four-day-old chick makes its debut appearance on the red carpet.
  • "Ready for my closeup." But still too small to band. Biologists will return after this chick has another day or two to grow.
  • Outstanding performance — take your bow, little guy. Return to story
Passport to Nature
Best Reality Slideshow

We’re Accountable

The Nature Conservancy makes careful use of your support.

More Ratings