Monday, April 18, 2022

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpeckers (PIH-le-ay-ted) were uncommon in NH but becoming more common.  There was one lat year on the rail trail I walk, and another near the power lines near our house. Strange call.  I heard one on the trail about two weeks ago, and one near the house this morning. It's fun to have birds you didn't grow up with.

Pheasants are rare here now, and I miss them. Rare wild turkeys now show up in the yard in groups of 10-20 and I'm not that fascinated.

No, that's not my photo.  Don't be ridiculous.  I am clumsy and unartistic.  It is from the linked site.  My second son or first daughter-in-law might manage such a shot, but not me. Er, not I.



Grim said...

We have these up here on the mountain. Big, beautiful birds. Back when I used to run they'd sometimes dive-bomb your head to try to drive you off of where their nests were. I never noticed because they didn't get close enough, but my wife would tell me later they'd been after me.

Mike Guenther said...

That's kind of weird behavior for them, I think. Supposedly they nest real high up in a hole in a chosen dead tree, a minimum of 30 or 40 feet. We see and hear them occasionally around our house. What we have a lot of are the Downy Woodpeckers and the Red Bellied Woodpeckers. I built a house for them last year and mounted it on a tree facing our back door about 10 or 11 feet off the ground, the minimum height for their nesting habits. Can't tell if it's being used or not, although it looks like something has been pecking around the entrance hole.

In other woodpecker news, perhaps the Ivory Billed Woodpecker isn't as extinct as once thought. There have been (un)confirmed sightings in the swamps of Southern Louisiana.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Both were well up there, yes.

I swear I saw an Ivory-Billed around 2000 when visiting my son in Kentucky. But not being an expert identifier I can't make a persuasive case.

Mike Guenther said...

According to what I read about the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, they need a lot of standing dead Pine timber both for feeding and for nesting.

My wife thought she saw one also here in the upstate of SC, but it was most likely a Pileated Woodpecker. They are both large birds, but the Ivory Billed is bigger by 3 or 4 inches in length. At least that's what my bird book says.

Tom Bridgeland said...

For all of the environmental gloom and doom, at least where I live in upstate Illinois, we have lots more wildlife now than when I was a kid 50 years ago. Animals that may occasionally be seen now that were not present then:

Wolf (rare)
Cougar (rare)
Black bear (very rare, only 2 that I have heard of)

Animals common now that were not here then:
Bald eagle

Deer have gone from being very rare to being a pest, same with Canada goose. Pheasants are around, some years abundant some not. Red foxes have always been around but are now more common.