Pecker!

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MShot
MShot Senior Member • Posts: 3,424
Pecker!
5

I heard but did not see them for a week. I thought they were attacking my cedar sided home. They come here briefly about this time of year before moving on.

I grabbed a camera and threw on the 75-300 thinking the 40-150PRO and the TC might not have enough reach, and bounded up the stairs to the loft where I have a wider view of the tree line through the glass. I heard them to the left. Bingo! They were pecking the power pole up the street.

I took a couple of shots and hurried out the door to get closer. By that time one of them had gone and the other went to the top of the pole. A lot of contrast and glare up there and a lot of DR. Might have been better with a CPL.

These are fantastic birds. Their movements are so interesting. The necks are pretty long. They jerk from position to position like robot arms. Unlike many woodpeckers, Pileated Woodpeckers are really big birds. I'd like get some video before they move on.

How do they peck trees for years without getting concussions? The NFL needs to study that.

The 75-300 did a decent job. The 300 f/4 might have been awesome. You can see them both in the first two photos before one of them moved on.

I wish they were in a tree instead of on a power pole, but I'll take what I can get. They had a tough time holding on to the pole. They lost grip and slipped down repeatedly. I think one of them left to look for an easier way to take a meal and the other one found a better perch at the top.

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DickyAus Senior Member • Posts: 2,131
Re: Pecker!

Great series. One wrong peck and he could be Kentucky Fried....

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SkipRD Regular Member • Posts: 240
Re: Pecker!

A tree would have been OK, but there's something revealing about woodpeckers hammering away within inches of self-electrocution. Picture #4 above could almost be a Far Side cartoon, with a caption like, "That's weird. These little beetles are giving me a tingling feeling in feet."

I once spent an hour trying to get a woodpecker to stop drumming away on my rain gutter. Now I wish I'd grabbed my camera!

Skip

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19andrew47
19andrew47 Forum Pro • Posts: 30,707
Re: Pecker!
1

A good set Harvey!  We get pileated woodpeckers around here as well.  They will stay the summer and can make mince meat out of a softwood tree in a few days.  Holes large enough to put your fist into in short order in pine trees here.  I have never managed an image of one.  Closest I came was one on a maple tree 50 ft in front of our house and about 10 ft off the ground.  It played hide and seek with me going around the tree to the far side each time I moved with the camera.

Andrew

MShot
OP MShot Senior Member • Posts: 3,424
Re: Pecker!

Heard a loud bang in that direction a few years ago. Looked up just in time to see a grey squirrel tumble off the top. Blew up the transformer and took the neighborhood power down until the power company rolled a truck out here.

Used to happen 3-4 times a year with the big barrel type transformers. When they changed over to the current gear, (no pun intended) it's been more reliable.

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MShot
OP MShot Senior Member • Posts: 3,424
Re: Pecker!

For the week the pair had been here, I thought they were taking my house down. Maybe they are.

I HEAR THEM HAMMERING ON MY HOUSE NOW!

Have to go outside and see if I can spot them.

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MShot
OP MShot Senior Member • Posts: 3,424
Re: Pecker!

This one didn't think I was much of a threat. The bird ignored me.

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