Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pacific Northwest Birds: Pileated Woodpecker

When we need to leave our float cabin on Powell Lake and come to the States, we have a condo in Bellingham, Washington. It's handy, close to the border, and where my mother lives. While it isn't as close to nature as our cabin, we do have a creek behind our building. There are lots of trees and bushes for birds and critters. My second floor balcony is like a bird blind that I can use for viewing and photography.

I was sitting on my sofa and heard a strange sound. First, I thought it was my cat crunching his "cookies," but discovered it was coming from outside the window. When I glanced out, I could see small objects flying through the air. As I traced them back to the source, I saw a Pileated Woodpecker chopping the heck out of a dead tree snag. The more he pecked, the more the wood chips flew. I knew it was a Pileated Woodpecker by its large size, black colouring and distinctive red topknot. They are common to our area, but it is the first I've seen.

After he worked for a while, he stuck his head inside a nearby hole. He obviously was gobbling up some ants or insects he had dislodged and sent scurring into his makeshift bowl. Yum!

This was a good example of how you can find nature in your own backyard. Take some time today to see what you can find. -- Margy

15 comments:

  1. Betty8:40 AM

    Great picture of your woodpecker.They are so big. We have a pair thet visit the park every year. They do throw wood chips all over the place.I love to watch them.

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  2. Woodpeckers are interesting birds, aren't they?! You have taken good shots of this bird!

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  3. It's wonderful what you can be lucky enough to find close to home. You were lucky to catch this one on camera - and he's a big, handsome bird.

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  4. Of course--Woodpecker for W.
    Everyone has so many different ideas for W.
    Lovely photos.

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  5. Great pix of a woodpecker! You can always here them busy at work when you hike in the forest. :)

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  6. Great shots and well captured.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and your kind comments.

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  7. Woodpeckers are fascinating creatures. When I was growing up there was a slightly barmy one that would bang away at the neighbor's metal chimney pipe, making lots of noise.
    Interesting blog!

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  8. Amazing capture, some good advice and all sorts of memories about Woody Woodpecker cartoons! Thanks for sharing your beautiful part of the world.

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  9. Great shots of capturing such a fascinating bird! So, your cabin is floating..very cool...thus why you have a floating garden!!:)

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  10. whoa, if he keeps peckin', he'll fell that tree!

    Nice W!!!

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  11. Fantastic photos...!! Very impressive that you were able to capture these... I really did enjoy them. I am happy to have stopped by!
    Mountain Retreat

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  12. Oohhhh... I never saw a woodpecker in my life!!!

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  13. No pileated's here in my neck of the woods. They are such majestic birds!

    Great W!

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  14. Great photos....that tree doesn't look very dead to me, but I imagine it soon will be the way he's chopping away at it! What an amazing bird. We don't have woodpeckers where I live, though I've seen them in the local mountains. It boggles the mind how they can work like that without scrambling their little brains!

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  15. We have these guys over here on the east coast of the continent too! You are so lucky to have a bird blind!!

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