Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Woodpeckers of The Vermilon River. A Post to WBW.

Male Hairy



The first series are Hairy Woodpeckers with the red patch distinguishing the male. They are larger than the Downy ( see below ) over all, although they look alike. The beak is the give away as it is approximately the same size as the head. Another difference is the Downy has black markings on its tail feathers. But the colourings are basically the same and they co-exist, but do not interbreed.

Male Hairy Showing Red Patch.


Male Hairy Showing Red Patch.


Female Hairy No Red Patch and no black markings on her tail.

Male Northern Flicker with black mustache off beak.


Both Male & Female Have Red Patch.


Both the male and female Northern Flicker are identical, except the male has a black mustache running off the beak. So both have the red V.
They are ground woodpeckers feeding primarily on ants as well as using the formic acid in ants to clean their feathers. On the ground their plumage acts as a camouflage, so they're hard to photograph because you're on them, and they're away. Some people call them yellow shaft flickers, because the edge of their wing is a gold/yellow, and readily seen in flight. The Hairy and the Northern Flicker are large birds.
Female no black mustache off beak.


Male black mustache off beak.


Female no mustache.


Male Downy


Female Downy.



The Downy is smaller, but the beak is the quick id point. See how small it is in the above photo. In the photo opposite you can see the black markings on her her tail feathers. The Hairy does not have these markings. Sorry the Downy photos are not better. Although they co-exist, I generally see the Hairy's, so I was quite excited even to get these shots.


Male Downy in flight.


Pileated Male with red mustache off beak.




Of course this is the largest woodpecker of all, the Pileated. He's about the size of a crow, and his tapping is aptly called drumming. His call sounds quite wild and I think he is the roll model for the cartoon character Woody Woodpecker.

He's a male because he has a red mustache running off his beak.



A Post to WBW @ http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/   


Just a quick note: I was finding hiking and carrying all the camera equipment a bit of a chore with my old pack sack, so I purchased a proper camera backpack. The thinktank model called a pro streewalker, somewhat misnamed for the forest where there are no streets and few walkers, allows me to carry the camera assembled with the 150-500mm lens, plus tote my tripod and other lens. So far it's working out well; of course, losing 20 years would have done well also.

27 comments:

  1. ha ha! i could appreciate 20 less lbs. on my 'streetwalker' frame. :)

    love all your woodpecker photos. the flickers are just so beautiful and the pileated are so fascinating!

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  2. Brilliant piece of photography, my favourite is the Pileated Woodpecker.

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  3. Nice collection of woodpecker shots! I'm going to have to check out that camera bag. I need a new one.

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  4. Lovely images of your beautiful wildlife.
    A great series Gary.

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  5. A great series of photos. That backpack sounds perfect - I have been searching for something like that for some time but couldn't find one big enough to take the camera with lens attached.

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  6. An excellent post and phots to match Gary. I just don't know how I ever managed without a dedicated camera backpack.

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  7. Great photos and birds, I mostly liked the Northern Flicker! So beautiful!

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  8. I am so jealous of the Pileated. I've been trying since March to get a decent shot of ours! Wonderful captures.

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  9. I never knew the difference between the male and female Northern Flickers but will have to pay more attention when I see them from now on. Isn't it fascinating how just the small marking like that black mustache can distinguish the two.

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  10. Love all the woodpeckers, they are great birds. Wonderful photos.

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  11. Another tremendously informative post Gary especially the tips on differentiating Ma and Pa flicker. Good idea on the back pack, that Big-ma is a load!

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  12. Great series Gary!
    I saw my first Pileated this spring. They are indeed crow size - amazing birds.
    Yours is the second post today with a new camera bag. Must be the season. Hubs got me a new one for Mother's Day. :)

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  13. Wonderful post and beautiful series of photos! I love Woodpeckers, they have always fascinated me. Glad your new camera backpack is working well for you!

    Your header photo is great - Boomer is gorgeous!

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  14. And one gave you an action photo, too! All photos are great - where do you and Boomer, of course, find all the birds?! I am very imposed.

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  15. Hi there - a whole post full of woodpeckes - splendid!

    Stewart M

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  16. How awesome you get to photograph these birds. So jealous. You're good!

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  17. Amazing birds,beautifully captured!

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  18. I love all of them!! I have never been successful getting a shot of the Flicker--so I admier these alot and never paid attention to that black mustache so thanks for the tip!
    Excellent photos!!

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  19. I love all these Woodpeckers! Great post and photos!

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  20. lovely photos and very useful id tips. Here in Scotland we only have the greater spotted woodpecker (quite like your Hairy) and the Green Woodpecker which is well, green, and quite different so we don't have id problems!

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  21. Gee, you nearly captured them all. A great series of woodpeckers.

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  22. I wonder why it is caleld hairy woodpecker. It does not look "hairy" at all. Much less then the others.

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  23. Awesome shots of the woodpeckers!

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  24. Great blog and lovely work ...
    Sill

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