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Category Archives: Pileated Woodpecker

I’ve had a Pileated Woodpecker around for some time but it is just luck that I happen to be photographing when it shows up at the feeder. It is very skittish and takes off at the slightest movement. A couple of times I’ve seen it in the woods looking at the feeder but it seems to notice me in the window and never shows up.

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I haven’t seen a Pileated Woodpecker at my feeders in quite some time. Earlier this fall I noticed one fly by as I was working on the bird feeders. This past week a female has turned up at my feeders several times. The second time she turned up I was able to get to my camera with the long lens so all I could photograph was her head.

I haven’t seen my Pileated Woodpecker around much lately but yesterday he turned up in the morning but flew quickly when he saw me. Later in the afternoon he returned and I managed to get some pictures of him.

 

 

A Piliated Woodpecker has been appearing at my feeders since last fall. Until yesterday I had not been able to get a photo of her. As we drove in the driveway my wife saw her at the feeder. I assumed she would be long gone by the time we unloaded the car and shut the garage door. Fortunately when I checked the feeder she was still around. I managed to get some shots of her on the suet feeder.

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Last week we headed out on another trip to find Bald Eagles along the Mississippi River. Just before we reached Durand, Wisconsin I noticed one sitting in a tree along the road. We turned around and went back for some shots. This is probably the best Bald Eagle shot I’ve gotten. He was right near the road and was not obstructed by any branches.

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As we drove over the Bridge At Wabasha  we noticed an eagle sitting in a tree next to a nest just north of the bridge. Unfortunately it was too far away for a shot. We then headed up to Reads Landing. There were a few Eagles sitting on the sand on the other side of the river but too far away for any shots. We did see a pair of Mature eagles flying around. It looked like they might be getting ready to mate. About that time a train came along and I could see that the eagles had gotten close enough to photograph but by the time the train passed they were gone. We had lunch at the Reads Landing Brewing Company. Apparently it is in the process of changing hands.

We then drove north toward Red Wing, Minnesota. There are several pull offs just north of Reads Landing so we stopped to watch the eagles fishing on the open water. One of them caught a large fish before it flew off to have lunch.

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We then drove to the next turn off where another photographer was already photographing eagles. He hadn’t had much luck but just then one landed a short distance away. Unfortunately it was partially hidden by the trees.

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While we were looking at the eagle another bird flew into a patch of Sumac. Turned out to be a Piliated Woodpecker.

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A little further up the road we found a bunch of Mallard Ducks on a partially frozen pond.

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When we reached Red Wing there were no birds around so we headed home.

 

My Pileated woodpecker continues to hang around my feeders. So far I’ve only seen a female. The last time I had a Pileated  around it was a male. Hopefully the female will bring some young to the feeder this year.

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After an absence of several years I now have a Pileated Woodpecker back at my feeder. He turned up during a snowstorm and has returned a number of times in the following weeks. I hope he sticks around for a while.

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

I see the Pileated Woodpecker at my feeder almost every day but haven’t been out in the woods to see what he has been up to. This last week I took a trip around the farm and found several trees where he has recently been active. As you can see they can make short work of a tree and do considerable damage.

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

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A couple of weeks ago we had, what I think, was the last major snowstorm of the year. There is nothing like a good snowstorm to bring birds into the feeder. They typically are not nearly as shy as they are on a nice bright sunny day. A good snowstorm means some great bird photography. Most of the usual suspects turned up during the storm.

Blue jay

Blue jay

Northern Cardinal male

Northern Cardinal male

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Common Redpoll male

Common Redpoll male

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Northern Shrike

Northern Shrike

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Northern Cardinal female

Northern Cardinal female

More bird photos from the last snowstorm can be found on my website.

This has been a great winter for bird photography. I’ve been able to photograph several birds that I’ve never seen at my feeders and I’ve had a several species that have shown up in unusually large numbers. In contrast to last year when we had little snow this year we have had a lot of snow. More importantly it has snowed during the day when I can photograph birds. I live for photographing birds in snow storms.

Pileated Woodpecker – This year, for the first time, a Pileated Woodpecker has shown up at my feeder on a fairly regular basis. In the past I’ve seen them around the farm but they just flew past my feeders. This year I tried a new suet feeder and that has attracted a male Pileated. He is still a shy bird so I’ve only been lucky enough to photograph him a few times. He is a spectacular sight when he lands on the feeder and starts banging away. The down side is he does considerably damage to my suet feeder.

Pileated Woodpecker male

Pileated Woodpecker male

Northern Shrike – This is also the first time I’ve seen this bird at my feeder. Of course he is feeding on other birds usually the Black-capped Chickadees that frequent my feeders. I’ve only seen it a couple of time but still was lucky enough to get a few photos.

Northern Shrike

Northern Shrike

Common Redpolls – This bird showed up at my feeders in small numbers  early in the winter. Around the end of February they showed up in large numbers. I had my thistle feeder out all winter and up and until the redpolls showed up I hadn’t had to change the thistle seed even once. One morning I woke up and found the thistle feeder filled with them. After a couple of weeks they were around in reduced numbers.

Common Redpoll male

Common Redpoll male

Common Redpoll female

Common Redpoll female

Northern Cardinals – I have Northern Cardinals at my feeder year around but this winter I’ve had an unusual number of them at my feeder. It has not been uncommon to see a dozen of them at the feeder at any one time. They really love my new suet feeder probably because I’m using peanut suet with nuts in it. The new feeder has plenty of places for them to perch so they can get at the suet.

Northern Cardinal - male

Northern Cardinal – male

Northern Cardinal female

Northern Cardinal female

Downy Woodpeckers – They frequent my feeders year around but seem to be most active in the winter time. It is not unusual to have a half dozen of them at my feeders at any one time. They feed on both the peanut and regular suet feeders.

Downy Woodpecker male

Downy Woodpecker male

Downy Woodpecker female

Downy Woodpecker female

Hairy Woodpecker – Larger than the Downy Woodpecker the Hairy Woodpecker is seen less often around the feeder. I rarely see the female and male at the feeder at the same time.

Hairy Woodpecker male

Hairy Woodpecker male

Hairy Woodpecker female

Hairy Woodpecker female

American Goldfinch – Again they are here year around. They have appeared somewhat sporadically at my feeders. Generally there are some of them around but they were gone for a couple of weeks and on the day the Common Redpolls showed up at my feeders in large numbers the American Goldfinches also returned to the feeders in large numbers.

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Blue Jay – Blue Jays are frequent visitors to my feeders but they usually stay in the shrubs at the base of the feeder. They seem to be fairly skittish so any movement and they are gone. The only times I’ve been able to get some shots is when it is snowing out and they are at the suet feeder.

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White-breasted Nuthatch – White-breasted Nuthatches show up at my feeders every three or four years. This is the first time they have been at the feeder since 2009. They have been around all winter this year.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Red-bellied Woodpecker – The Red-bellied Woodpecker also shows up at my feeders every three or four years. They have also been around all winter. This is the first year both the White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches have been around the feeder at the same time.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Dark-eyed Junco – Is one of the first winter birds to turn up at my feeders. They have been around in large numbers this winter.

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Black-capped Chickadee – I have more Black-capped Chickadees at my feeder than any other bird or at least it seems like there are more of them. Since they are in constant motion it seems like there are a lot of them going to and from the feeder.

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee