June 2, 2006

What dead trees are good for

There's been a dead poplar standing on the far edge of my back yard since we bought the house. It's been decaying slowly, but today it put on a real show - or at least a visitor to it did. Josh Dolan, who's been working on the permaculture project here, told me I had to come out and see this giant woodpecker.

Woodpecker on a tree
Woodpecker on a tree.

The woodpecker cooperated, staying around for a while as I got my camera and longest zoom lens, and gave me enough time to take so many pictures that some came out all right. Zooming in on it further, you can see that it's a pileated woodpecker.

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker.

I get downy and hairy woodpeckers at my bird-feeder, but the pileated is a rarer sight. It's a good visitor to have!

Posted by simon at June 2, 2006 5:07 PM in ,
Note on photos


Mary Ann said:

I had a similar experience last year with a pileated woodpecker in a dead black cherry tree outside my kitchen window. It's good to have a reason to procrastinate about cutting down those dead trees. Once you start seeing them as bird feeding stations and birdhouses, they don't look so bad.

Duane Testut said:

Great photo of "Woody", Simon. I've seen him or his cousins around here on rare occasions. We had a young osprey out back on a tree limb one Sunday morning this late winter. Wish I'd had a decent camera then.