Monday, September 26, 2005

Pileated Woodpecker

The ranges of two pairs of pileated woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus) meet in the hamlet of Thomasburg, but the habitat of the hamlet istself is not really to their liking, so we hear and see them often in the spring, as they re-establish the boundaries, but not much the rest of the year.

This photo proves the bird was here. For some really good photos of a pileated woodpecker, check out Woodsong's Pileated Gallery.

This morning one swooped in and landed on the newly dead elm by the driveway, a tree that has been a powerful attractant for the more frequent woodpecker visitors, hairy, downy, yellow-bellied sapsucker, all summer. (Click here for another pileated and images of what this woodpecker can do to a tree.)

Another view.

5 comments:

Cindy M. said...

I never tire of watching these great woodpeckers- most of the time I just hear their calls, which always makes me feel I've stepped smack into Jurassic Park :) They're usually quite shy, so getting any shot of a pileated is cool in my book, congrats.
I envy your recent Barred Owl sighting, they're my most favorite owl. They have nested on neighboring property for years, but we do not see the numbers we used to see. West Nile virus has really hit that species hard & I miss them.

Cindy M. said...

I forgot to leave this link for you- if you love Pileateds you'll definitely get a kick out of these photos of young at the nest. Too cute :)

http://www.nsolomonphoto.com/PhotoJournal/Pileated%20Woodpeckers%20Around%20the%20Nesting%20Hole.html

pablo said...

We have at least one pileated woodpecker at Roundrock. I'm told it is a sign of a healthy forest. I envy your photo opportunities.

Pamela Martin said...

Thanks Cindy and Pablo for the comments. And thank you, Cindy, for the link to the pileated family photo essay--very cute indeed.

For me, it's when I see a pileated flying by that I feel like I'm in Jurassic Park, watching a pterodactyl.

I'd like to think that they are a sign of healthy forests. I don't know this, but it seems to me that they are doing better around here than they were 30 or 40 years ago--perhaps because of reversions of the land from farm to forest. I only knew this bird from pictures as a child in the 60's, then in the 80's I saw my first one in life.

I didn't know that barred owls had been hit by West Nile anywhere. We have lots of these owls around here lately, and at least some West Nile. I hope we keep the owls.

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