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Pileated Woodpecker

May 24, 2020 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in east bethany, news, birds, outdoors, Pileated Woodpecker.

woodpeackermay242020.jpg

Chris Kuehl, of East Bethany, took this photo of a pileated woodpecker.

Her husband, Chuck, who submitted the photo, said and his wife have lived at their residence for 17 years and added, "We see pileated woodpeckers all the time but this is the first time one keeps coming to our suet and boy does he go through it. We live by a very large wooded area and get a very large variety of birds. Just love living here!!"

March 17, 2014 - 5:30pm

The past couple of weeks we've seen an incredible amount of avian activity taking place, species ranging from songbirds to raptors. Among the wide variety were a number of woodpeckers, like the red-bellied woodpecker pictured above. He had been hard at work before sensing my presence and then abruptly snapped to attention.  

After several minutes he decided it was safe to get back to the business at hand.

Pileated wood peckers have been frequent visitors throughout the winter. This is the first frontal pic I've taken - quite by accident as it turned in my direction just as I took his picture.  

Moments later he provided the angle I wanted. Here he's perched on a dead limb of a towering cottonwood.    

Downy woodpeckers have been showing up daily to feast on suet.

It almost seems as if he stopped to check out the falling snow.

Another red-bellied woodpecker investigates the spillage below the bird feeder.

February 26, 2014 - 9:14am

We had a couple of unexpected visitors to our place last weekend. Being February and given the sort of winter we've had, it was more than a bit of a surprise to see a pair of bluebirds come calling last Saturday morning.            

A male and female alit in the apple tree and I never thought they'd sit tight with the powerful wind gusts whipping the branches about. But sit they did and I was able to get several shots of the male while the female was obscured by branches.

A female cardinal seems to be shrieking with delight, perhaps celebrating the sunshine and blue sky

This cardinal seems content to sample a snow-capped frozen apple.

A chickadee sticks close to brushy cover.......

while another helps itself to sunflower seed and millet.

Pileated woodpeckers have shown up quite regularly this winter......we often hear their raucous call long before they come into view.

How did this gray squirrel get a snow hat?

He and some friends were digging for the walnuts I had tossed into the briars last autumn. I knew the squirrels would find them, but I never thought they would wait till there were several inches of snow on the ground before doing so.

This guy, meanwhile, appears to be rubbing his paws in anticipation while eyeballing the bird feeder. 

Prior to last weekend, the last bluebird I saw was just before Thanksgiving. Winter set in on us right after that. I've never seen one this early in the year. I've heard or read somewhere that bluebirds sometimes winter here, it all depends on the weather and availability of food. Regardless, I know we've got some single-digit lows coming later this week, but I've always felt Mother Nature was pretty good at predicting the weather.....here's hoping!

January 16, 2014 - 5:15pm

This cardinal is no doubt making up for lost time by gorging on what's left of last autumn's wild grapes. Having hunkered down for a few days during last week's blizzard, the usual cast of characters is back in action in and around our neighboring woodlots.

With a poplar directly behind it, a pileated woodpecker knows decaying wood is a better place to find insects, so it pounds away on a dead sumac. There were two pileateds in close proximity on this day, but getting them into the same frame proved futile.

This pileated seems to have found the upper reaches of a dead poplar to its liking.

As the storm descended on us late last Monday afternoon, the last flurry of movement I saw was that of a red squirrel scurrying into our barn. This guy is tightly clutching a dead nub as if expecting the high winds to return at any moment.....

In the next instant it turns and sticks tail high in the air...a bit sassy maybe or perhaps it's suddenly sensing an intruder. If on alert mode, it's with good reason....

Like everything else, this redtail didn't eat for a few days during the storm...    

Hawks have been showing up with greater regularity, what with cottontails, squirrels and, in the warmer months, chipmunks, to prey on.   

Here's the cardinal again...in this photo note the bit of grape stain on his beak.

A gray squirrel gives the once over to a tiny abode that has housed baby wrens for the past few summers.

Sometime before last week's blizzard and after December's flood, we had some freezing rain.....this house finch doesn't seem deterred by the results.

May 16, 2013 - 7:58am

It's that time of year when the small woodlots on either side of our property attract a variety of bird life, none more colorful than the Baltimore oriole. Though they didn't arrive as early or in such great numbers as last spring, they did arrive to feast on the small insects among the apple blossoms.

Having grown accustomed to their visits in recent years, by their song alone we know when the orioles have arrived. Their sound is distinct and pleasing to the ear.  

Partially obscured by apple blossoms, I'm guessing this to be a member of the warbler or finch family.

Here seen upside down in its quest for bugs, it was difficult to get a clear pic as it darted quickly about in search of food. 

A pair of fledgling robins seem uninterested in the juicy worm provided by their mother. Not a year passes when a robin has not failed to nest in our garage, always using one of two nests that have been in place for years and each year the same nest produces a double clutch.

A male and female goldfinch search the ground for a meal.

Morning sun highlights the crest of a pileated woodpecker.

Working its way around the tree, it has moved into the shade and this angle reveals the size of its bill.

A lone crow perched in the cottonwood.

The cottonwood towers above the other trees in the woodlot and it's in cottonwood where the crows often gather. This foursome no doubt has mischief on their minds, waiting to harass an unsuspecting hawk or waiting for the neighbors to take out the trash.

This photo was taken in late winter. At first I thought this crow was hard up for a meal as I've never seen a crow attracted to sumac drupes before. As I watched, he didn't eat the drupes, he tore them apart. Did it think something was inside? Or was it hell-bent on destroying the drupes because song birds eat them? And crows are notorious for raiding the nests of other birds and destroying eggs or killing the young.

March 19, 2012 - 8:58am
posted by JIM NIGRO in outdoors, nature, Pileated Woodpecker, power lines.

This pileated woodpecker is hard at work high atop one of the utility poles of   National Grid's power line.  

I was raking our back yard when I heard its telltale and raucous cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk. That was followed by the sound of it hammering away at what I thought was a tree in my neighbor's woodlot.   

Still thinking it was in the woods, every few minutes I'd stop raking and look into the trees. The pileated had been at it for quite awhile before I spotted him, so I had no reason to think it wouldn't stay a bit longer. With that, I went inside to get the camera.

Quite often we see red-tail hawks perched atop the utility poles but this is the first time I've seen a pileated woodpecker have a go at them. And he didn't seem to be in any hurry to leave -- he was still there when I finished raking.      

February 26, 2011 - 9:49pm
posted by JIM NIGRO in outdoors, nature, Pileated Woodpecker.

This pileated woodpecker gave me ample opportunity to try out our new camera. For half an hour or more it made two large cavities in a young cottonwood, one of seven within a stone's throw of the house. Whenever they visit they tend to ignore the huge cottonwood as well as the walnut, hickory, white ash and maple trees, instead focusing their attention on the young cottonwoods -- smoother bark, easier to penetrate, is my guess.

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