May 05-04

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: May: May 05-04
Dryocopus Pileatus    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Paul Talvensaari

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 06:10 am:

The Pileated Woodpecker is supposed to be a rather shy bird who is difficult to observe. People have talked about seeing them and there are a number of photos in the Guest Gallery, like this one from Paul Talvensaari, but in all my times exploring throughout the Keweenaw, I had never gotten the chance to see one in person. That is until this past week, when I was out on my morning walk in Lake Linden, I heard the familiar tap, tap tapping of a woodpecker, looked up and spotted two of them in a tree. They were too far up to distinguish if they were male or female, but I'm assuming there was one of each. Made me think of Woody Woodpecker, I'm pretty sure this denizen of the forest was his model! :->

By ywb/yooperwannabe/richmond on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 06:13 am:

Good Morning!!
First Post

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 06:35 am:


By Dave, Laurium on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 06:55 am:

Nice Shot Paul!! I caught this guy (gull) in obvious violation of the rules down near Rabbit Bay. Where's the DNR when you need them?? Maybe he was resting up for the flight to Traverse Island in the distance...
Traverse Island

By Charlie at Pasty Central on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 07:01 am:

In case you missed it Monday, Bob G. produced a slideshow of Hubbell in his Guest Gallery album. A nice collection of the homes, businesses and parks of this village between Dollar Bay and Lake Linden.

We want to encourage others around the U.P. to photograph a walking tour of your town, and perhaps we can start an index of slide shows for the whole Peninsula.
By ra on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 07:13 am:

Say, is that dryocopus pileatus perched on a birchus treeus?

By Mr. Bill on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 07:48 am:

I saw may first pileated woodpecker last year, and their size is awsome. Extremely wary, as the minute I moved for the camera, he was gone as fast as he'd arrived.

By Renee in AL on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 07:54 am:

Hello again all! I posted this late yesterday but thought I would again today so more folks would see it:

I love the moon picture! Very nice! Another neat astronomical wonder you can try and spot is to go out a little before sun up and look East. In the constalation of Pegasus there is now comet Bradfield. It will sweep in front of the Andromeda galaxy, also in that location of the sky, over the next few days too. So that should be quiet a site!
On another note....I think the Calumetopoly is a neat idea! Better still though would be a Yooperopoly! A game which can encompass all the landmarks of the UP. Instead of Boardwalk and Park Place it can have Isle Royal and The Porkies. Other "properties" on the board can be the Lift Bridge, different UP lighthouses, copper mines, etc. There are more then enough landmarks to be able to fill all the spaces on the game up. Of course one of the little token pieces you can move around the board has to be a pasty! It can also have other tokens like a lighthouse, moose, blackfly, etc.
What do you all think?? Maybe some one will take this idea and run with it! I can only hope as I would be the first in line to buy such a game!

Thanks again for such a wonderful site!
Best wishes to all!

By Tim on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 08:04 am:

A Pileated Woodpecker did quite a job on this popular tree this spring. The cavity is about 10 inches deep, 5 inches wide and about 10 inches tall. The tree is just about 5 feet away from the power lines so. . .

Woodpecker home?

By MG, Ellsworth, MI on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 08:06 am:

Well it had to happen. The black flies woke up yesterday down here below the bridge.

By Down State Dave on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 08:33 am:

Thanks Paul! Great picture of an elusive subject.

By Marsha, Genesee and Aura on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 08:48 am:

I first saw a pileated woodpecker several years ago near Brimley. I couldn't believe it was so big! We slammed on our brakes and turned around and were able to watch it for a few seconds before it flew. I know they are seen around our place in Aura and, in fact, a birch next to the cottage had to be cut down because it was ready to fall on the house due to damage from a couple pileated woodpeckers. Of course, the woodpeckers did this over the winter and I had to miss all the action just outside my kitchen window!

The seagull picture is a good one, too!

By Mr. Bill on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 09:00 am:

So that's what caused all the newly carved trees that I've been seeing for the last several weeks. I had no idea what type of critter was responsible.

By j Ga on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 09:09 am:

Renee in Al. I think the Yooperopoly is a marvelous idea. I want some for Christmas presents.
anyone know how to go about having one made up?

By Mike, Detroit & Whitehall on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 09:17 am:

What a timely photo! I share a cottage, in a wooded area, on the outskirts of Whitehall, MI (Whitehall is as close as I can get to the "UP Lifestyle"). We dined alfresco this past Sunday afternoon, a friend brought over homeade soup, it was all very pastoral. Anyway, while we were eating we heard the tap-tap-tap of the pileated woodpecker in a tree about 200ft away. Stealthily I went inside to get the binoculars to view the magnificent creature up close and we shared a good 10 minutes or more of observation. Not the first time either, had one for several months right in my yard a few years back. Thanks for the reminder of a wonderful memory and Thanks Thom for your companionship and help!

By finnferrfunn on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 09:21 am:

Hi all, speaking of woodpeckers....
shocked woody

By Victoria on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 09:28 am:

Gramma in Gladwin has one that visits her feeder. Surprised the heck out of us... it was such a big bird on a little suet feeder! I'll have to try and get a pic of it sometime, if it still visits when we do.

By Jeff, Norfolk on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 09:41 am:

Tim, my daughter thinks your tree looks like a one eyed face with a green beard. Good pictures all the way around, thanks, cold with rain down below the bridge today, that's the Hampton roads bridge :)

By Jeff M, FL on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 09:44 am:

Your large red-headed woodpecker doesn't spend all it's time in the Michigan Northwoods. And it's not particular about what kind of trees it bores large holes into. Would you believe that they're rather common in my west-central Florida neighborhood, too? Really strange to see them hammering away on a Queen Palm tree! The ones down here also seem to have an affinity for trying to drill through the aluminum soffets on our stucco-covered houses!

By Troll, Lower MI on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 09:58 am:

Last year while camping at Rollways campground in Hale, MI, my husband and I were the only campers as everyone had left. We heard a repeditive tapping sound,,,there was a woodpecker (not the red headed kind) tapping on the fiberglass roof of the outhouse..... my hubby got behind a tree and caught it on film. This little guy was relentless in his quest to drill through that fiberglass. We finally had to go to town to get away from the noise. Mother Nature-- gotta love her and her "kids"...

By danbury; germany on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 10:04 am:

This birchus treeus: Betula ?
And if that's a big bird, how big's that birch? Or, just how big a bird is it?

By ert, GA on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 10:07 am:

Jeff M, FL -- I found the Pileated Woodpeckers in FL to be less skittish than the ones here in GA. And, yes, it was always strange to see them pecking away on a palm tree!

By Bob on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 10:10 am:

Pileated Woodpecker's have been passing thru
our place in the hills of Hubbell for about 3 weeks.

we see them every spring. I have a tree that also
looks like the one above.

These are incredible birds and have a great call.

In response to my Hubbell photo's, glad everyone enjoyed them, and I'll try to do more locations
as I get my excercise ;-)

By Lorelei, Michigan on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 10:10 am:

Last summer, our neighbor would awake to the tapping every morning. This beautiful bird was pecking the insulation plugs out of his house. It was rather funny to see him at sunrise trying to scare the bird his undies ;)

By shelly/Yankee in Texas on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 10:20 am:

I was going to write down the famous Woody Woodpecker laugh, but its hard to spell out the way it sounds. Everybody remember it?

By the way...

By AJ on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 10:20 am:

Not to dampen anyone's enthusiasm, but I know of other creators of "opoly" games who have come under legal attack from Milton Brothers for creating their own versions of Monopoly.

I hope the Calumetopoly, and proposed Yooperopoly folks have researched this, before they get their hopes up on selling many of these commercially.

Please, folks, be careful and research this just to be sure. I'd hate any of you good people to have to invest in yet more attorneys. Not to take any heat for saying it, but there seem to be a lot of them out there with not enough to do.

Best of luck!

By shelly/Yankee in Texas on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 10:25 am:

Your Tresspassing Seagull picture is funny!

By Dave, Laurium on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 10:44 am:

If you are interested in the sounds of this woodpecker, try this link:

By Gus UP on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 10:55 am:

While on the subject of birds. About 50 years ago when I was living out on the farm, our neighbor came home with some sea gull eggs that he found out on Traverse Island. (Against all rules). He placed them under a hen chicken along with some of her own eggs. When they finally hatched the young sea gulls would follow the mother hen and the rest of her brood around the farmyard. She didn't approve of some of her young uns swimming in the water holes. Very amusing to see.

By Dave, Laurium on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 11:12 am:

How about the King of woodpeckers, here is 'Woody Woodpecker's' greeting;

By Connie, Ft. Belvoir VA on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 11:26 am:

Has anyone been on Traverse Island? As a kid I always wanted to go explore it. My cousins and I used to sit and talk about the treasure we would find.....:-)

By shelly /Yankee in Texas on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 11:27 am:


Thats the one!!

By Big B- Minneapolis on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 11:56 am:

To Renee in AL- There also exists a monopoly type game based on Isle Royale... the creators were Fred Beatty (sp?) and his son. They own and operate a business in Iron Mountain called Z & R Electric. I'm not sure if it is still available (or even if Fred and his son still own/operate Z & R), but you could probably track them down through Z & R if you are interested.

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 12:38 pm:

With Dave's posting of the illegal seagull, I remembered a photo I had taken of an unusal seagull...look closely, that's a nail sticking out of it's chest!!

nailed gulla

By julie b., MI on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 12:38 pm:


Cool idea about the 'walking tour' slide shows. Hope a lot of people take you up on it!

By Gus UP on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 12:39 pm:

Connie, As a kid me and two other lads walked out to Traverse Island. We allways called it Rabbit Island at that time. We had walked out to do some ice fishing. We were about half way out to the island fishing and decided to go explore the island which is about 3 miles or so from shore. This was in Feb. When we got there all we could see was ice, snow and trees. The wind and snow picked up and we made it back to the mainland with the aid of a compass and we never even caught a fish.

By David Antikainen on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 01:19 pm:

Now that gull has had a bad day....

By Tricia, Calumet, MI on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 01:56 pm:

Any locals out there know of a place that will look at a rock for me and tell me what it is (hopefully for no charge or a very little one)? I found a cool rock and have been trying to figure out what it is. I think I need help.

Thanks in advance! :)

By Paul , Webberville Troll on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 02:03 pm:

Hey Pasty Central! Can my wife and I each enter your contest? We use the same e-mail address. Or would that be cosidered two entries per day. Just want to obey the contest rules. Big bird! We have one once in a while at our feeders.

By Joe Finn, Rhinelander, Wi on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 02:07 pm:

Tricia, Calumet, Mi
Bring your rock to MTU Geology dept. They will be glad to identify it free for nothing.

By Paul Talvensaari, Bootjack on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 02:17 pm:

If one woodpecker is good, two are even better. Happened to catch these two hanging around together by one of our trees Monday morning.

2 woodpeckers

By Dave of Mohawk on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 02:17 pm:

Try Keweenaw Gem and Gift on Memorial Dr. in Houghton

By Bob on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 02:36 pm:


When i went to upload those shots of Hubbell
I thought I had seen a town foto section before but
I couldn't find it at the time.

Now I see it, UPTOWNS. feel free to move
those shots to the UP towns index.

An icon on the main photo page to access the
UPTOWNS photo section might be a good idea also

By Martha K., Pinckney, MI on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 02:39 pm:

Pasty-cammers leading the way:
A couple of weeks ago there was a discussion here about the saying "What the Sam Hill..." The current issue of Michigan History Magazine (available at has a great article about very interesting Keweenaw personality.

By Phyllis, Texas on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 03:45 pm:

Phyllis, North Texas,
We have named our Golden Retriever everyone that help on names. Her name is Seney. The Seney wild life are in the U.P. that is were we got the name. Thanks again for all your help that gave suggestion

By Phyllis, Texas on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 04:03 pm:

Phyllis, North Texas,
Sorry - Seney wildlife area

By Carole on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 04:19 pm:

To Phyllis in N. Texas: We have dog who is part beagle/hound and her name is also Seney. Of course named after the town/wildlife area and road.

By shelly/Yankee in Texas on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 04:30 pm:

Very nice Phyllis. Very nice.

By Pete Wi on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 04:39 pm:

I once saw a peliated woodpecker on US 41 near the Gratiot Lake road. I was working in a telco equipment cabinet when I heard a metalic bang bang bang. I looed up to see Woody hammering away on a road sign....go figure, May he was sharpenibg his beak.

By annekristi,cedar springs mi on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 04:49 pm:

Hello! On Easter this year at my parents annual egg hunt We spotted a Flicker trying to open a large blue egg on the bird feeder. The kids had a good laugh watching him try to "steal" their treat! By-the-way I love pasty central and tell my library patrons in my computer classes about it!

By wondering on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 05:02 pm:

where ru thos bird pics at the woodpeckers

By Paul , Webberville Troll on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 05:19 pm:

Did you ever wonder what all that pounding does to these woodpeckers brain (fiberglass roofs, steel signs)? It must be like waking up with a Sunday morning hangover knowing that's the best your going to feel all day!

By troll in Eagle Harbor on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 05:54 pm:

DANBURY;Germany...How big are the pileated woodpeckers??About the size of a small chicken...but a lot more fun to watch...HEY,PAUL!!

By Helen, MI on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 06:42 pm:

Tricia in Calumet. If you find out what kind of a rock it is, let us know here on It would be interested to know what you have discovered!!!!. It sounds interesting!!!! I hope you have good luck with it!!!!

By DH, Smoky Temecula, CA on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 06:53 pm:

I once had biology field trip in college where we spent a bunch of time watching a couple of flickers knock themselves senseless on some discarded appliances. It was LOUD. We asked the ornithology prof about it, his only guess was that they liked the sound.

By Connie - Colorado on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 07:28 pm:

Don't forget to watch for comet NEAT tonight and thru the next two weeks. Look where the sun has just set. The comet will get higher in the sky for about a week, then sink back down. Venus, high and bright in the sky will make its dive down into the sun this month. It will actually transit the sun, meaning it will cross the front of the sun from our point of view. To us, it will look like it dives into the sun. We see Venus' orbit much like a person looking to their right using peripheral vision with their head tilted back. Can you imagine that? If you see the comet, try to get a photo!! Remember that the comet tail will point away from the sun.

By luv michigan -- mi on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 07:32 pm:

i was once told that the pileated woodpecker
is endangered and rare. also that there is
another woodpecker (that i cannot recall the
name of) that is often mistaken for the
pileated. this woodpecker is more common.
can anyone comment on this idea? and the
differences between the two woodpeckers?

By DH, Smoky Temecula, CA on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 07:37 pm:

I can't think of anyting in Michigan that would be easily confused with a pileated. Hairy woodpeckers are probably the next down in size that you would commonly see, but they are quite a bit smaller.

By troll in E.H. on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 07:50 pm:

I think you're thinking of the ivory billed woodpecker...Mighty close to extinct as I recall.

By Humphrey Bumphrey, Pellston MI on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 09:50 pm:

All of this discussion about Affiliated Woodpeckers and I still haven't figured out what or whom they are affiliated with.

By Patt on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 09:52 pm:

Sure could use those birds help in my yard today as Friday evening for what I thought was no apparent reason, a 40 foot long and about 5 ft around maple tree branch broke and fell. Seems just before I bought this place last year the tree had been hit by lightening. So tonight me & my new $70.00 electric chain saw (wadda' expect from a female trol?) did our best to cut the thing up. Am about half way done & hope the muscles don't scream too loud tonight so we can finish the job tomorrow after work.

Better yet send those birds down to Durand will ya?

By Therese from just below the bridge on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 10:16 pm:

A few springs ago I watched a pileated work on an old sugar maple in harbor Springs by the Catholic church. In 20 minutes it knocked a hole about one foot by 1 1/2 feet and 6 inches deep. That's in hardrock maple, yet! Hey! Does anyone know how it's pronounced? Is it 'pie-lee-ated' or 'pee-lee-ated'?

By DH on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 10:39 pm:

My very serious bird watcher friends said "pie-lee-a-ted.

By Jo Ann, Hancock on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - 10:54 pm:

Great conversations today, thank you...Victoria, see you tomorrow..

By danbury on Thursday, May 6, 2004 - 04:38 am:

Thnx, troll!

By Bill Denning, Texas on Thursday, May 6, 2004 - 11:13 pm:

Tricia in Calumet,

Stan Dyl (pronounced "dial"), the director of the A.E. Seaman Mineralogical Museum at Tech, lives in Calumet. Perhaps Stan would be willing to look at your find w/o even having to go all the way down to Houghton!

Stan's work # is 487-2572, or you could email him at

Cheers, Bill

By Tricia, Calumet, MI on Friday, May 7, 2004 - 10:26 am:

Thank you to everyone who gave me ideas on where I could take my rock. I'm planning on going to the Mineral Museum tomorrow and will post the results here after I find out. I think the rock is absolutely husband says it's ugly. If I can get a good close-up picture of it, I should post it here and have a vote :)

By Tricia, Calumet, MI on Friday, May 7, 2004 - 10:35 am:

Oops...I can't take my rock to the museum tomorrow. In July they start Saturday hours. Well, I will keep you posted.

Thanks again!

By walter p tampa on Friday, May 7, 2004 - 05:39 pm:

there are always two hanging around the house quite loud they are but nice to see

By Stacey,Pa. on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 06:47 pm:

My mother has 3 Peliated Woodpeckers that are ripping her house apart.We think that there must be wood-boring bee larvae in the wood around the roof and the woodpeckers have done an unbelievable amount of damage.Does anyone have any suggestions or does anyone know what we could put on the roof to scare them.Thanks

By jj in Hancock on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 09:53 am:

Does anyone know the history of "Bootjack?"
Was it a person's name?
Please do tell!

By Mary Lou on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 09:42 pm:

jj of Hancock...Please see my response to this same question under the date of Aug 12, 2003...

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