MORE BRIGHT BIRDS – Marilyn Armstrong

Let me start off by saying that this morning, Owen and I were treated to seeing a relatively rare Pileated Woodpecker. They are the largest of our living woodpeckers and while I knew we had one or more of them in our woods, I never saw them from close up. They would just fly by and stop far away, well beyond my camera’s ability to take a picture.

And this is exactly what he looked like. This is NOT my picture. My camera was in the other room and if I’d gone to get it, he’d have been gone by the time I got back. But at least two of us saw him!

This time, he landed on a tree right on the front of the house! I called Owen and said “Look, look! It’s that big woodpecker!” Big he was. The size of a medium-sized hawk with that unmistakable hammer-shaped scarlet head. The bird after whom Woody Woodpecker was designed.

Pileated-Woodpecker – Head shot (I didn’t take this picture, either).

It was inspiring, so I went and developed some more “artistic” pictures of birds. I don’t know why seeing that big red-headed bird was inspiring, but it was. They are becoming increasingly rare. There was an even bigger one — the Ivory Woodpecker, but they are believed to be extinct now.

These guys are disappearing too. They need deep woods in which to live and there’s precious little remaining. New England still has a lot of trees, but every day, they chop up another woods to built cheesy houses for which they are asking way too much money … and this is not a hot property area. Many of them take a long time to become occupied, but the woods is gone forever.

Pileated Woodpeckers don’t like people and cars and dogs. They like forest and I fear they will go extinct too.

Wings and a prayer? Goldfinch feeding up.

More wings and prayers – one Goldfinch in the air and a Nuthatch on the feeder.

I hope next time the big woodpecker comes by, I hope he stops to pose for me!

Categories: #Birds, #Photography, flying, Marilyn Armstrong, Wildlife

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14 replies

  1. What clear close up views of the woodpeckers! Beautiful reds!


  2. These birds are one of the reasons, Marilyn, we put our land into an easement, no hunting, no snowmobiles, no harvesting of wood. I’ve heard them in the spring, hooting at each other, (and they need huge amounts of territory–if you see one, you might see the mate, but not more)–and large dead trees to live in. I took photos of one that was poking around our yard maple a few years back, he seemed totally unconcerned about me and my camera.
    I think as long as there are people who put their property in Land Trusts (we have three near neighbors who are doing the same) at least the woods that have returned will continue to thrive. It’s all we can do. I read somewhere that one of the local names for it, understandably, is ‘the good god bird” and when you see one the first time, I’d say you’re apt to say, ‘good god, martha what the hell is THAT” =)

    And yes those are stunning photos. I love the extreme head shot. That’s elegant.


    • That’s what Owen (my son) said. “Good god, he’s huge!” And so he was. I don’t know if we have the same easement laws here. I really need someone with legal knowledge. I have a lot of questions and i need some answers. But the idea of putting the land, such as it is, into a no hunting, no trapping, no cutting zone is very appealing.


  3. The pileated woodpecker is a gorgeous bird — and those are beautiful photos of him!


    • I didn’t take the pictures. They come from the iNaturalist site. They collect pictures and sitings of birds, other animals and any pictures you can send them. All are publicly available. They keep some statistics of what animals and birds are where. I haven’t done anything with them this year because I haven’t seen anything new. I have at least two fewer species this year than last year, which is worrisome.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful series of birds you write about here, Marilyn. Thank you for that!


    • They make ME happy too. They made everyone happy yesterday. Neither Owen nor I had ever seen one of those big Pileated Woodpeckers so close up. Meanwhile, the birds are eating like there won’t be any more food tomorrow. We only filled the feeders yesterday and they are nearly empty today.


  5. What a magnificent specimen Marilyn.


    • These are impressive birds and much bigger than any bird in the woods except the occasional eagle or red-shouldered hawk. I’m pretty sure they could take on a hawk, too. That beak is as strong as a hammer.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this. I have a couple who frequent my telephone pole (remember those?)


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