Rey Wells Woodpecker Observation

I arrived at our Inverness, Fl. auto repair shop early one morning in March.  This visit was not for the car.  I was there because of the sizable wetland out to one side of the shop.  I stepped out of the car with the camera.  Before I could even close the door, two woodpeckers flew onto a tall snag at the edge of the wetland.  I hurriedly got the camera going and started shooting.  It turned out that a male Red-bellied Woodpecker was after a male Downy Woodpecker.  What ensued was a series of attempts by the Red-bellied to catch the Downy.  Here is the end of one of the early attempts.

Seven seconds later, both were back and on opposite sides of the snag.  Here they are.

Then the Red-bellied attacked.  Here he comes!

He missed!   Thanks to the quickness of the Downy.  The action continued for another fifteen seconds, and then both flew off.

What prompted the Red-bellied to go after the Downy?  It is possible and, maybe, most likely that the Red-bellied was just doing what they have been known to do.  They are omnivores.  While we would like to believe that the animal part of their diet consists entirely of lower life forms, the fact is that they have been observed feeding on small birds.  

Back in 2009 in northeastern New York State, I took a photo of a Red-bellied after watching it fly up to the top of a snag carrying something.  Here is the photograph.  The victim sure looks like a bird to me.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers and other birds that prey on avians are neither good nor bad.  They are just part of the web of life on our planet.