Sunday, February 27, 2011

woodpecker central

The pileated woodpecker has to be one of my favorite bird species. And this winter I've been fortunate to see one at the suet feeder fairly often. While this isn't the best picture, you can tell this one is a female by the absence of red on her face. She really did a number on this suet cake just today; the picture was taken this morning, and now in the afternoon there is barely any left.

After Ms. Pileated left, I got a rare shot of a hairy and a downy woodpecker close to each other, taking turns gleaning from the remains of the suet cake. Yesterday afternoon when Mr. Attitude and I returned from our birding adventure, there were three downy woodpeckers and one hairy in this same tree at once!

Ms. Pileated has been busy around here. This is a dead white spruce that continues to provide wonderful habitat and food for woodpeckers and other birds. I am looking at it out the window right now as I write this at the computer, which is in the cabin. I have had the pleasure of watching a pileated woodpecker work on these holes throughout the winter, and yesterday The Hermit called me to tell me one was at it again. The long hole to the right is pretty deep, and I can't help but wonder if this will be a nest site this summer. If so, the location is perfect as I can get good views (and photos) from inside the cabin!

5 comments:

Floridacracker said...

At last! I see the difference between a hairy and a downy!
Hairy's are bigger.

Pileateds must be found just about everywhere in NA.
Such fine birds.

I hope they nest in that tree!

webb said...

Am told we have pileated in Virginia, but have not ever seen one. I love this one!

Jayne said...

Lucky YOU!!!!

Caroline said...

I love the downy on the thermometer, my Minnesota kids would appreciate the above zero temps!
What you said about FC's pelicans, I thought the same thing. :o)
Caroline in the Black Hills

Rabbi Gershom said...

Great pix! I've had a Pileated checking out a dead pine lately -- probaly finding bugs in it, but I hope he decides to chop out a hole ad nest there, too.