Friday, January 4, 2013

Chop! Chop! Chop!


I heard them long before I saw them.

Chop, Chop, Chop!


A pair of Pileated Woodpeckers.
This is the female, which can be identified by the black line from her bill to her throat.  In adult males this line is bright red.


As a former migraine sufferer I cringe as their beaks hammer
back and forth into the frozen bark of the tree.

The chopping sound echoes through the forest
making me think of olden day lumberjacks hard at work.


Strips of displaced bark are removed and flung aside,
where they spiral to the forest floor.


It was only in examining my pictures that I noticed its needle-thin tongue darting in and out of the tiny insect holes hidden under the bark.


People incorrectly believe these birds are hurting the trees they hammer away at.  In reality they help control many insect populations that would otherwise create much bigger problems for the rest of the trees in the forest.


Here is a video I took of the woodpecker in action!




37 comments:

  1. Dzięcioły to nie tylko piękne ptaki, to lekarze drzew. Cudowne zdjęcia i filmik, gratuluję. Pozdrawiam cieplutko.
    Woodpeckers are not only beautiful birds, doctors trees. Wonderful photos and video, congratulations. Regards warm.

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    1. Thank you Giga, you gave a very nice description of woodpeckers, "tree doctors." I like that!

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  2. Amazing pictures of this wonderful bird, the last picture is so beautiful:)

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    1. Thank you Jan, I was lucky that the woodpecker turned his head into the light so I could catch all his wonderful colours.

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  3. Stunning images! We occasionally have these in our neighborhood & I am always joyful when they visit my suet feeder but mostly, I enjoy their little hammering sounds echoing through the neighborhood.

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    1. I'm glad you get to see and hear them where you live too :)

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  4. Excellent photos. I cherish each visit that we get from these birds, mostly in the winter around the suet feeder.

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    1. It's so nice of you to help them out with suet in the winter, what a treat!

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  5. Awesome shots, Rosemary! Pileated Woodpeckers are always a treat to see! Luckily, like you said, they give their presence away with their loud drilling!

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    1. Thank you Tammy, these are the largest woodpeckers that we have here and they are very fast flying birds. I love the hooting sound they make as they whiz by :)

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  6. I have many of these and love them so. I can never get them in a photo though so thank you for sharing your beautiful shots of them!

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    1. Thank you Jill, I was lucky to catch this one! I was surprised they could rip open the frozen bark so easily and that there were bugs for it to eat.

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  7. Stunning photos, and video too!
    I have never seen one myself, although I think I have heard them, back in Norway. But woodpeckers in London is probably a stretch too far so maybe why I haven't seen them here - even though we have amazing wildlife at times!

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    1. Thank you Helene, I don't see these too often because they prefer to be where there are a lot of trees. This was my lucky day!

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  8. Hello Rosemary wonderful series you have made ​​of the woodpecker, this species I've never seen.
    The video shows how the bark of the tree and pick the insects.
    A nice weekend, Irma

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    1. I'm so glad I caught them in action, they are quite large and stunning to look at :)

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  9. Great photos you captured, Rosemary. Nature sure gave pileateds state-of-the-art head and brain parts; apparently, they suffer no damage from the pounding they deliver and take. Or are they in pain when we hear their evocative primeval call? In any case, I love this bird, its call and its look.

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    1. Thank you Lee, you're right about their call, it is haunting, especially because it takes me a while to identify and locate the sound.

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  10. Hello Rosemary!
    Your pictures are great.
    Woodpeckers are wonderful doctors trees!
    I like to watch them as they knock and klicking.
    I send greetings.
    Lucia

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    1. Thank you Lucia, I love the name you've given them because it is so true, they are tree doctors :)

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  11. Stunning shots and video!
    Thanks for sharing.
    I've not seen a woodpecker for years.
    Have a great day.

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    1. I'm so glad I was able to capture him in action with the movie option on my camera. I wish I'd had a tripod so it wasn't so shaky :)

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  12. Lovely and clear pictures, and how fortunate to get such a good video as well!

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  13. Sooo beautiful birds, great photography. I love woodpeckers! I also heard some today but I never can see them ..
    have a nice day/evening
    Dany

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    1. Thanks Dany, they usually move too fast for me as well but these two must have been pretty hungry to stay in one place for so long :)

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  14. WOW!! What a super pictures of the woodpecker say! Especially picture 6 and 7 I think gorgeous! compliment

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    1. Thank you Helma, that's a true compliment coming from you! I so admire the many spectacular photos on your blog :)

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  15. Hi Rosemary!

    I must apologize that I've missed quite a number of your posts lately :(

    What a lovely bird! Our woodpeckers are not this colorful but they do make their presence FELT! I know how you feel about the noise especially at night. Don't they ever rest?
    Great shots and the video is wonderful, get to see them in action!
    Something which I can never see here because our trees are too tall to look up to :)
    Don't wanna break my neck for that..lol!!

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    1. Ash, no apologies necessary, life is a hectic beast sometimes! I wish we had trees as tall as yours, unfortunately I think you need lots of HEAT for that kind of growth, and we clearly don't have enough of that :)

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  16. Nice pictures of a beautiful creation!

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    1. Thank you Gunnar, they are so fascinating!

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  17. I love pileated woodpeckers! We had a pair when we lived in the mountains but I haven't seen any since moving to the valley.

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  18. I thought I had been taking pictures of the same one and it was only when I looked through the whole set that I realized I had a male and a female. They sure do move fast!

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  19. Well done Rosemary!!! You have some marvelous shots of this bird! That's one on my list that I would love to see:)

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  20. Your images of the woodpecker has much clarity. Great shots.

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  21. Spectacular! Some photos
    and beautiful! hug

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Thank you so much for your kind words :)

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