Sep 15-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: September: Sep 15-06
Pileated woodpecker    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Dennis Valade

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 06:44 am:

When you mention woodpeckers you normally think about a smaller bird, but this one spotted by Dennis Valade, certainly wouldn't fit that description. While in Copper Harbor, Dennis spied one of these normally shy pileated woodpeckers and was quick enough to snag a good shot of it before it took off to do whatever woodpeckers do. These birds average about 15 inches in length and are classified as one of the largest woodpeckers in North Amercia. At that size, sporting a colorful red head they make quite an impressive sight.

By Smfwixom (Trollperson) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 06:47 am:

Great picture!

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 06:57 am:

Nice shot, but they sure do damage trees!!!

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 07:39 am:

You've got that right about damage, most of it is done on insect infested ones though. I suspect them of putting holes in healthy trees to encourage insects but that is just my thinking, no proof.
\image {Pileated Woodpecker Work}

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 07:40 am:

Well, that didn't work, try this for a picture of some woodpecker work:

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 07:45 am:

Richard, My mom's neighbors' tree was a beautiful maple. You should see it now. Woodpeckers are there all the time.

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 07:59 am:

I remember my first (and, I think, last) glimpse of a pileated woodpecker. We were driving down the road in Brimley when I spotted one. "What was THAT?" I said. My husband spun around and we did get to see it again. Had a tree destroyed by a pair in Aura and our neighbors had to cut it down over the winter so it wouldn't fall on our cottage. Cool birds! We have a trio of snowy white egrets that have been hanging out on Mott Lake down here for awhile. I enjoy watching them, too.

By Michael Poe (Mpoe) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 08:29 am:

That woodpecker is a winter visitor to Florida. They really are startlingly large. They are also very loud, especially at 6am....

By Ken Scheibach (Kscheibach) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 09:05 am:

What a great photograph. A trophy. I know where these bird are but I still haven't been able to get a photo like this. Good job, Dennis. I have often thought that this magnificent bird was short changed on it's name. It's difficult to pronounce and simply means having a crest on the head. A description that matches so many birds like the blue jay or cardinal. I think maybe a cartoonist got it right with "Woody" . The Great Woody Woodpecker. Any ideas?

By Lorelei (Lorelei) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 09:18 am:

There was a wood pecker that used to peck on on the insulation plugs on my neighbor's house. This bird would start doing this at very early hours. I must say, he was not very popular.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 09:21 am:

We had a nesting pair a few years ago, fledged three young that year. Other than the fact that it was just cool to watch them, noisy was about the only nice word at 6a.m.
Mr. Deb

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 10:04 am:

Pretty woodpecker....but I have to go along with everyone else, that they sure are loud. You know, that is one thing I have never seen or heard in Indiana...a woodpecker. I wonder why that is.

By paul (Pungvait) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 11:47 am:

a friend who was in charge of poles for uppco was bothered by pileateds hammering his poles, until i pointed out that they were telling him which poles needed replacing ----- the pileated was walter lantz's inspiration for woody woodpecker

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 12:36 pm:

Paul, Walter Lantz must have known the call of the pileated - I heard one before I saw it and it has that ha ha ha HA haa sound. Best I can represent it anyway.

By Therese (Therese) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 01:46 pm:

We had one a few winters ago that would hammer away on the flashing of a neighbor's woodstove chimney. Pretty loud.

By Ken Scheibach (Kscheibach) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 01:59 pm:

Go to this web site to hear the pileated's call and drumming. Click on the icon by word "listen". Very noisy bird.

By Mona Grigg (Islandantique) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 03:01 pm:

Great picture! They come to our suet feeders, and this year we have one pair with only one young'un, but I haven't been able to get a good picture yet. The young ones have fuzzy heads, and sound like they're whining--just like kids everywhere.

I had heard somewhere that the sound of the pileated was included in background jungle noises in many of the early movies--including the Tarzan series. Has anyone else ever heard that? They do sound like jungle birds to me.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 03:50 pm:

The birds you hear in the all the jungle movies is the Laughing Kookaburra bird, which is native to and found only on the east coast of Australia.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 05:56 pm:

Nice image by Dennis!
Here is a pic of typical Pileated doings! Flickers will do this also and to a lesser degree Red Headed, Red Bellied, Yellow Bellied Sapsucker, Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers. Excavations like the big hole shown are usually done for nesting by Pileateds and Flickers. Often Owls, Squirrels or even Raccoons will "steal" these sites from the Woodpeckers for their nesting or roosting or use them after the woodpecker is finished. From my understanding Pileateds will rarely "peck" at a healthy tree if at all. Just infested or already rotting ones.
Pileateds are Crow sized! They are making a slow comeback down here in SE MI! They have been seen in our area of late around the Belle River and up near Port Huron! One (or 2) was on Belle Isle in the Detroit River (just off downtown Detroit!) last year for quite some time!

It was so long ago that Walter Lantz adopted "Woody" for his cartoon character, he may have had in mind the Pileateds even bigger cousin the Ivory Billed Woodpecker! Said to have been extinct for 60 + years they have recently been spotted in the deep swamp woods of SE Arkansas! This of course was unprecedented news causing countless biologists, ornithologists, researchers, & birders to invade the southland looking! Haven't heard as much on this after the initial shock and joy of the finding.They are keeping this low key now. Hope this wasn't a false alarm! So many of us would be really disappointed if so. The Ivory Billed once long ago ranged from Florida to East Texas to southern Indiana and Illinois!
Sur5er: You should have several species of woodpeckers around there! Maybe not Pileateds tho.


By Susan Caryl (Gilbsulmum) on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 11:02 pm:

For several years we had a woodpecker that worked on our tile roof every morning for a LONG time! ;) I don't know what he got out of it, but he certainly was determined....and noisy. Wonder what a larger species would have sounded like...we may have had to move!

By Ray Laakaniemi (Rlaakan) on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 09:55 am:

Another example of pileated handiwork in Iron County.

By JH (Thumbgardener) on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 08:41 am:

We just got back last night from a 5 day UP trip. Late Thursday afternoon we saw one of these in a little park just east of Copper Harbor. It was walking around by a picnic table, making a lot of noise. I was able to get it on my video camera before it flew up into a tree. I didn't know what kind of wood pecker it was until I showed the video to my dad.

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