From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Pileated Woodpecker

First sighting of this native bird!



(Photo: National Park Service)
Coming up the lane to our house this morning, Isaac and I saw a pileated woodpecker. He left a tree in the ditch, flew across the road in front of us, and landed on the side of a tree in Clarence's woods. He was quite large. In fact, when the woodpecker took to the air, Isaac said, "What is that? A duck?"

We had a fairly good look at him. I'm certain that he was a pileated woodpecker, not a red-bellied or red-headed woodpecker. I checked the range map, and we are within an area where it's very possible a pileated would be overwintering or even breeding.

It was a great thrill to see a pileated woodpecker. I've seen them in pictures, of course, but before today, never n real life!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

USA's smallest woodpecker and the Pileated which is the biggest. You can tell if a pileated is active in your area because it is the only one that makes rectangular holes typically with chamfered edges. It makes a series of these (usually in dead trees) in a line going down the trunk in order to get at the termites in the centre. (From Limey) Great site Genevieve - keep going!

Anonymous said...

Due to a technica glitch (my incompetance) my earlier comment got foreshortened.If you are at all interested in how it was supposed to be read on! When I lived in Hopkinsville (just off of little river road) I had the good fortune to live in a fairly wooded area. Among all of the wonderful birds which visited - and I fed - were the Downey woodpecker,USA's smallest woodpecker, and the Pileated which is the biggest. You can tell if a pileated is active in your area because it is the only one that makes rectangular holes typically with chamfered edges. It makes a series of these (usually in dead trees) in a line going down the trunk in order to get at the termites in the centre. (From Limey, Take 2)

Genevieve said...

We feed the birds too, and we've seen all of the woodpeckers from this area at our feeders, including a red-headed woodpecker which is a bit uncommon -- but never a pileated woodpecker. It was really a thrill to see him.

Do you mean the Little River Road off Highway 68 east of Hopkinsville? I go down that road often.

Thanks for reading, Limey! I am glad that several family members and friends stop by here and read, even though they never say anything! :D

Anonymous said...

Yep, that's the one, I think a farmer who bought the land I stayed on has, or is going to clear a lot of the trees and use it for cattle and/or crops which would be such a shame as far as the wildlife is concerned. Except the ticks :)

Genevieve said...

Someone has been logging along Little River Road, across the road from the Lancasters (first group of houses), and on to the river, all on the west side of the road. We used to call that part of the road "Deer Alley", but have not seen hardly any deer there since they logged it.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

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