Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Drummer Boys-WBW

Although Ive noticed a slight downturn in the numbers, woodpeckers seem to be doing well..near my home is an area I nic-named the 40 Acre Woods-its a large 103 acre tract with a vacant land owner--its used for timber cutting and leased to hunters in season--it is great Red Headed Woodpecker habitat!  With plentiful snags and a low laying area that supports a large insect
population, its the perfect habitat for these beautiful birds! 

Melanerpes Erythrocephalus

They drum quite loudly when they are digging a bug out of the dead wood--but Nothing like the Pileated Woodpecker the cousin to the possibly back from extinction Ivory Billed Woodpecker.  In the field it would be easy to distinguish between the Ivory Billed that has a very large white wing patch....These guys make a very loud jungle type call and the drumming sound can travel for some distance- This one I found at Goodale State Park, about 6 miles from my home.  They nest in the dead Cypress trees standing in water there--so that keeps predation down! This photo was taken at quite a distance away...so a bit fuzzy but the best Ive gotten of this bird...

Dryocopus Pileatus

The Downy Woodpecker is a visitor to the suet in the yard on occasion...not as frequently as in the past--these small woodpeckers are quite common though in my area.  They drum really fast and not so loud but you can certainly hear it.  They will drum on the wood of your house!  They have a high pitched little pik call and the faint whinny sound too. The Hairy Woodpecker is sometimes confused with the Downy but I usually check the beak length..the hairy has a longer beak.  (sorry no Hairy Photo) I think its fascinating how the length of the beak means woodpeckers don't compete for the same grubs!  The grubs that live deeper in the wood are eaten by the longer beaked birds!


Picoides Pubescens

Another familiar woodpecker in my area is the Red Bellied Woodpecker.  I wish I had a better photo to represent this fellow--I love the dotted white on black of this birds back.  They also drum loudly and have a call that sort of rolllssss out...like a chatter.

red bellied 003
Melanerpes Carolinus

Other woodpeckers in my area that I dont have shots of YET are the Yellow Bellied Sapsucker and the Northern Flicker (yellow shafted) Still have high hopes of getting photos of those fellows...While traveling this spring in the desert state of Arizona, I did see and snapped a very quick and not so good shot of the Gila Woodpecker.  These woodpeckers bore nest holes in saguaro cactus here this female is feeding young in this nest hole..


Melanerpes Uropygialis

This post is a contribution to World Bird Wednesday meme -click the icon to read about birds of the world and see some wonderful photos and meet some interesting bloggers!--




20 comments:

  1. You gotta love woodpeckers. I've been on the quest for a photo of the Pileated forever it seems, and no luck yet.
    Beautiful Redheaded, and I have lots of Downeys here.
    B.

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  2. I love woodpeckers- I had a pileated, a downy, and a flicker all in my yard within 15 minutes of each other last week. I was lucky to have been out there at the time!

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  3. That Re-headed woodpecker is quite striking. You have quite a variety depicted here. In my neck of the woods it is just acorn woodpeckers and flickers.

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  4. What a great and varied selection of woodpeckers you have there Dixxe.

    We only have 3 types to find here lol

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  5. Woodpeckers are very cool - and you got some good ones here. Would love to see a Red hooded one day.

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  6. Your captures are lovely! I adore woodpeckers...but then, they've not been 'drumming' on my house yet!

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  7. I really love woodpeckers, nice collection!

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  8. Nice post. Woodpeckers are some of my favorite birds.

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  9. That long focal length gives a beautiful natural distortion to the image that I love. Man I would love to see a Redheaded Woodpecker! I know they exist in Michigan but they must see me coming because I never see them. That is great information on the variable beak lengths of woodpeckers. Thanks! ;-)WBW

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  10. Wow! Great birdshots! I especially love the red-headed woodpecker. He was on my New Jersey license plate, but I never saw one in NJ.

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  11. Great pics of the various woodpeckers. I find them fascinating to watch as they hop around a tree or pole, pecking away it.

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  12. You are fortunate to have such a varied selection of woodies. Super images but particularly like the Red Headed. Cheers FAB.

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  13. When I had a house, there was a Pileated Woodpecker that would take huge junks out of my deck! But I loved them anyway. Great pictures.

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  14. Looks like we share the same types of woodpeckers between SC and coastal TX. I'm pretty envious of the Gila you saw in Arizona, though -- haven't added one of those to my list yet. Great shots of the red-headed and pileated and all!

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  15. All great shots but I really love the first one. Hope you have a Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year.

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  16. Beautiful Red-headed Woodpecker!! There was a report of on in my area in S. VT and we all went out chasing it but nobody else saw it. Nice series!

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  17. ...loved the woodpecker post, and I especially loved your shot of the Red-headed Woodpecker. They are so rare up here in Cincy. I only get to see them regularly once a year when I visit Pinckney Island near Hilton Head Island, SC. You are so lucky to have the around!

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  18. you nailed it with your headline. :) Suites perfectly for this post. Great shots. :)

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  19. Fantastic birds and captures. The top shot is outstanding.

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Comments are appreciated!