Passport to Nature

Best Reality Slideshow

"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


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