Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday Wings - Woodpecker 101



I was so excited to get this picture - a Downy Woodpecker male on the left, a Hairy Woodpecker male on the right. It clearly shows the most noticeable difference between the two species, their size.

The little six inch long Downy is the smallest and most numerous woodpecker species living and nesting in our area.

The larger nine inch Hairy has the same markings except for lacking some black spots on his white tail feathers.

The females of both species match the males minus the red spot on the back of the head.




A close up of the Hairy male so you can admire his formidable beak.




Next largest at eleven inches is the Red-bellied Woodpecker. When a Redbellie lands on the suet feeder, everything else flies away. Even the starlings.

This is a female. The males have continuous red across the tops of their heads.

Two years ago I posted Don't Call Me Red-Headed with more pictures and information on the Redbellies.




Almost two feet long, the awesome Pileated Woodpeckers are year round residents of the woods across the street from our property. They're slowly growing in number in our neighborhood.

One of my bird fantasies is that I would look out the window and see a Pileated at the feeding station. So far that hasn't happened. They hang out high up in the tallest tree tops. I strained the limits of my zoom lens to get this fuzzy picture.

7 comments:

Jan Darling said...

Wow! How cool!! The woodpeckers are my favorite ones to watch at our feeders. I have yet to see a Pileated anywhere in my area. I nearly flipped over backward the day last summer when I saw a Red-headed and a Flicker together on the same branch of a tree!

Will you be participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count? This year it's Feb. 12-15. There's a photo contest as well.

Great photo!

Kathleen C. said...

We have a Pileated that passes through our back area (maybe 30 feet away) about once every week or two. Gorgeous bird!
Last month I actually saw two at a time! The first we've seen of a definite second bird... I hope it's a female and they're laying this Spring...

Dorothy said...

Those are just amazing pictures! I love woodpeckers and see them occasionally around the yard, but haven't gotten close enough to get pictures or figure out exactly which ones they are!

Alwen said...

How cool to see all four in one post!

I get at least one pair of Downies, but I don't see the Hairy Woodpeckers much here. Some winters I have a Red-bellied that comes regularly, but I haven't seen one this winter.

I know there are Pileated woodpeckers around here because I've seen one, and their great big holes are all over. But I've never seen one on my feeder, either!

Kathy... said...

This was another "call the hubby" post. We really enjoy your bird photos....always amazing!

Kathy said...

Very fun to have an educational post on them today. Do you call them Flickers? We call the big one a Flicker. Are we off here?

Judy said...

I enjoy seeing the woodpeckers more than hearing them!

LOVE the last picture. I've never seen a Pileated.