Saturday, May 16, 2020

Exploring Bellingham: Pileated Woodpecker


Dead trees provide homes, nesting places and food for birds.
We're "staying home" at our condo in the States. Mom moved here from California in 2005 to be closer to us. Now it's ours. While it isn't as close to nature as our cabin, we have the creek behind our building with trees and bushes for birds. 

I was on the sofa and heard a strange sound. I saw small objects flying through the air and traced them back to a Pileated Woodpecker drilling into a dead tree. The more he pecked, the more the wood chips flew.

I knew it was a Pileated Woodpecker by its large size, black colouring and distinctive red topknot. They're common in our area, but it's the first I've seen.

The woodpecker was drilling for his dinner, not making a nest hole.

After he worked for a while, he stuck his head inside a nearby hole. He obviously was gobbling up some ants or insects he had dislodged and sent scurrying into his makeshift bowl. Yum!

Eating the "fruits" of his labour.

This was a good example of how you can find nature in your own backyard. Go see what you can find in yours. If you have children, it makes a wonderful learning experience. I have so many fond memories of exploring nature with Mom and Dad. I remember many of the things I learned to this day and it's probably why I love float cabin living so much. -- Margy

38 comments :

  1. I love woodpeckers. We used to have a wood pecker who tried to poke a hole in our metal chimney in Alberta, he kept trying but fortunately never was successful :)

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    1. We had one up at the cabin. It was an American Flicker. It drilled a hole in the eaves trying to make a nest. We covered up the area, but there is a small area in the tar paper to remind us of the incident. - Margy

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  2. he was on my hummingbird feeder yesterday

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    1. When my mom lived in this condo I had a seed bird feeder on the porch. It was very messy but was a fun way to find out which birds lived next door in the natural area. - Margy

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  3. The Pileated Woodpecker is one I've always wanted to see but never have. Despite two trips to Long Point Bird Observatory in Canada in the springtime!

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    1. And you have the owls I've never seen in nature. Maybe we should trade experiences. - Margy

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  4. Hello, awesome sighting of the Pileated Woodpeckers. They are another one of my many favorite birds. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great weekend.

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    1. Woodpeckers are a fun bird to watch, as long as they are using trees and not walls. - Margy

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  5. They sure can dig deep into a tree can't they? I love seeing birds like this one! enjoy!

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    1. It was amazing to watch and see how fast he could get deep into the wood. - Margy

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  6. I love them. You wonder how such a big bird can survive on bugs!

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    1. I often wonder how birds and other animals find enough food in nature. Some times of the year there seems to be abundance and others not so much. - Margy

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  7. Lovely birdpictures! Happy sunday!

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    1. We are so lucky to have a natural space right behind us. I'm always watching and listening for interesting happenings. - Margy

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  8. Replies
    1. They are fun to watch, as long as they aren't drilling on our cabin. - Margy

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  9. It is a beautiful looking woodpecker.

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    1. Over the years I've seen three kinds here in Bellingham, the Pileated, a Downy Woodpecker and the Northern Flicker. - Margy

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  10. “Woody” was a wonderful find and you got great pictures! You’re so right about the importance of kids learning about nature .

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    1. With our windows open from spring through fall we can hear all the action out in the creek area. You never know what might appear. - Margy

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  11. If it had a blue suit, it could pass for Woody Woodpecker. :-) I've yet to see a woodpecker in person. I've seen the trees where they've been. That's neat too.

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    1. Same for me with owls. Someday I hope to see one. - Margy

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  12. WOW! I've never seen a woodpecker in person, let alone the Pileated Woodpecker!

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    1. If it hadn't been drilling so loudly I would have missed it. - Margy

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  13. A species similar to the red-headed woodpecker is also common in Romania. It is a nice and useful bird, in our country it is also called "the forest doctor".
    Thank you for sharing!
    Have a good day!

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    1. How did it get the name of forest doctor? - Margy

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  14. Margy - as you know, I only have to look out my window to see wildlife or nature in action! We do have pileated woodpeckers in our area, but they are pretty secretive compared to the ones I knew in the Midwest. I hear their laughing cackle much more often than I see them! Great pictures!

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    1. I was just saying to way it would have been nice to be living in a single family home with a yard right now, but we travel so much it would be hard to have in the future. - Margy

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  15. Hello,
    this woodpecker looks so funny to me... ;)
    Happy Wednesday!

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  16. I have not seen a woodpecker very close. Only I heard the sound.
    Thank you for these images!
    Happy WW and all the best!

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    1. We have several dead trees behind the condo so it is a good spot for them to look for food or build nests. - Margy

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  17. Replies
    1. Thank you. I enjoy your posts and pictures as well. - Margy

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  18. This woodpecker is new to me and its good to know and see the various species.

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    1. One thing I would like to do is learn birds by their songs and calls. There are so many I hear but can't see. - Margy

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Thanks for stopping by. Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome. - Margy