For a cold February day, it’s been a pretty good day at the feeder. In all, 14 species showed up already and it’s not even noon. The pileated woodpecker was in the side yard, not at the feeders. I took the photo through a dirty, hence the poor quality. Here’s some photographic evidence of the busy day: Continue reading
Here are some more photos from my recent pileated woodpecker experience. Here’s the original post, in case you missed it.
Back to the adult …
I heard a loud banging from my side yard the other day. I assumed a neighbor was doing some work involving a hammer as noises echo and carry far in the small lake community in which I live.
Like any good, nosy neighbor, I stepped onto the deck to see what was going on. The noise was coming from the edge of the woods and it wasn’t a neighbor with a hammer at all, it was four pileated woodpeckers looking for a meal. The main noisemaker was the adult male who was banging away on a tree trunk that had fallen to the ground many, many years ago. He was perched on top of the trunk and a young male was a few feet away on the ground watching his dad go to work. An adult female and another youngster (I couldn’t tell the gender) were working on the trunks of nearby standing trees.
Twice, the adult male found an insect or worm and stretched its neck toward the youngster to offer the morsel. The youngster, of course, accepted. The daddy pileated woodpecker worked its way along the fallen trunk and eventually flew to the nearby trunk where the mother was busy looking for meals. The young male took his father’s place atop the fallen trunk and started pounding some holes of his own. I couldn’t tell if he was successful or not, but he certainly learned a thing or two by watching his parents at work.
Male and female pileated woodpeckers have red heads. Only males have the red “mustache” extending from the bill.
Here’s one of the adult feeding the youngster. I was a fair distance away and didn’t want to get closer and risk breaking up the family group, hence the poor quality of the photo.
The weather app on the phone said the temperature was 0 degrees (yes, as in zero). It was New Year’s Day, though, so no excuses: I had to take that walk I promised myself I’d take.
As soon as I walked out the door I heard a loud knocking that I strongly suspected was a pileated woodpecker. A quick glance in the direction of the knocking and my suspicion was confirmed. A female pileated woodpecker banged away at a dead tree in the backyard (well, technically not my backyard, but open space that abuts my backyard.)
First bird of 2018 is a pileated woodpecker. Not bad at all.
I watched the crow-sized woodpecker for several minutes and snapped photos until my “shooting” hand froze. That didn’t take long.
I moved on to give the woodpecker some peace and quiet on this frigid day.
The rest of the walk was rather uneventful, but I did see three other types of Continue reading
Here’s another photo of the pileated woodpecker I saw the other day.
Hearing the name of this remarkable bird begs the question: What does pileated mean? According to dictionary.com, it simply means “crested,” an apt name for this woodpecker. There’s also this, more descriptive, definition from thefreedictionary.com: “Etymologically means “capped,” like a mushroom, but now refers to a bird with a crest on the top of the head from the bill to the nape.”
So there you have it …
It took going on two years, but I finally got a shot of one of the pileated woodpeckers that I hear frequently in the woods behind my house. I’ve seen them before, but only at a distance and only fleeting looks.
I wondered when I’d see one working away at the multitude of dead pines in the woods. There are dozens upon dozens of these snags and they all have big holes chiseled out of them — a telltale sign of pileated woodpeckers. Yesterday was my day. The impressive bird was noisy in its calling and noisy in its banging away at the tree. It’s amazing the force at which they hammer at trees.
This guy (it is a male as females lack the red “mustache”) remained only about five minutes before heading deeper into the woods, calling as it flew.