Sunday, March 27, 2016

Birds who have visited me, part 1: pileated woodpecker

post #277
       Finally, here is the whole story of the day the visiting pileated woodpecker decided the bugs in our old apple tree were worth the risk of me and my camera being on the other side of the window.  The tree trunk is only 3 feet from the house.  I can't believe he didn't know I was there. The photos are taken through the window so they are not picture perfect, so to speak, but obviously it is better to go with the photo you can get than waiting for some perfect situation!
       I was using my Canon Rebel, at least 5 years ago, and a 17-40 lens. No cropping that I remember doing. It is still a happiness to share these once in a lifetime photos.  It was totally a true privilege to spend all that time with this busy and determined visitor. 

To set the stage.... what I saw first from where I was sitting, and the only photo of the bird I expected to be able to make.

I learned later that the red stripe below the eye is a way to tell it is a male.

beak evidence

seeing beneath the feathers


These raised-up head feathers happened unexpectedly and briefly -- perhaps a warning of some sort? There may have been some rustling in the leaves on the ground.


        Please note that I have no idea why I never before put this series on the blog in the five and a half years I have been doing it weekly.  Earlier today I checked the images for this bird on Google, and there is nothing like this -- but there are fascinating photos of the holes they chip away at for eating and the ones for nesting, and great photos of babies. In those cases, the photographer probably was able to set up a way to keep watch on the nest. In my case, since I feel I had a proper visit, I just made what I could have from what transpired. Hard not to believe in good luck....
I love the lines here -- head/beak, elegant neck feathers, claw -- all that plus a single eye!


  1. Awesome!!!! I think birds come to you because you honor them with your attention and your art.

    1. Thanks, George Ella, they deserve any support we can give them!

  2. Ann, how wonderful this glimpse into the pileated woodpeckers life! How much I learned reading this! Thanks!