Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pileated Love

For the first time in many weeks, I didn't have to work last Saturday morning, so I got to be home and watch some birds.  I had just gotten done starting a load of laundry and I heard the unmistakable call of a Pileated Woodpecker.  I looked out the patio door and there he was -- on the suet feeder about 3 yards away!

I dashed upstairs for my camera and got some good photos of him on the tree nearby.  (See that nice red "mustache?"  That's how you tell the males from the females -- females have a black mustache.)

And on one of the other big suet feeders in the backyard.

A female Pileated Woodpecker has been an infrequent backyard visitor in the past, but this is the first time I've seen a male here.

I'm always amazed at how huge these birds are!  This suet feeder is about 12 inches long.  The long tail prop on this suet feeder makes it really easy for big woodpeckers like this to spend lots of time enjoying a suet treat.

This afternoon Mr. Pileated was back again and decided to check out the "upside down" suet feeder.  He had a little bit of trouble figuring out the best way to get suet from this feeder....

But he eventually managed to hang upside down and satisfy his suet cravings.

I really love these big woodpeckers and I'm so glad this guy has decided to start frequenting my backyard.  He always announces his arrival with his loud call, so we get some good chances to watch him for the few minutes he's here.  Fortunately I stocked up on suet a couple weeks ago and will be watching the ads for future suet sales.  I would gladly spend my last dollar on suet if it guaranteed daily sightings of these awesome woodpeckers. 


10 comments:

Mollie said...

Ahh, my lucky day to click on your blog, Ruthie! Love these photos-what a great bird, literally and figuratively. Glad you had a Saturday morning off from work to see this "gift" show up in your yard! Thanks for sharing your most excellent photography skills!

I've been wearing my half mittens on some cooler SD mornings. Just love them and even more so because they weren't knitted by some stranger in some strange land!

Gaelyn said...

You got some great captures of this big boy. I'm excited about putting up feeders and suet again when I get home.

RuthieJ said...

Oh Mollie, your comments always make me smile. :-)
I'm glad you like your mitts. Did I remember to leave a couple Holly furs on there for you?

I hope the birds find your feeders right away Gaelyn. Do you get the Pileateds out there too?

Marianne, aka Ranger Anna said...

Absolutely awesome! Great pics! I think I'll have to get a giant suet feeder after all....:)

Taos Sunflower said...

I'm not even a birder and this excites me. He's gorgeous!

Lisa said...

I always enjoy your photos and 'stories'! We raise a couple of pileated woodpecker families on our property and are one of my favorite birds. Love their raucous call. We call our pair 'Woody' and 'Winnie'.... from the old Woody Woodpecker show. (My husband researched the show, and yes, there was a female named Winnie!) Funny, as I write this, I can hear one of their calls outside. Thanks Ruthie!

Jayne said...

Oh how I'd LOVE to have one at my feeders Ruthie! Lucky you! Thanks for sharing your big, hungry friend1

troutbirder said...

Thats so impressive. Added to the fact that with much of the woods on Oak Hill gone and few dead trees allowed to stand we rarely see them anymore. So off I go to Forestville where they are still fairly common... Hi Ruthie.

Meggie said...

I've only seen one pileated...it was quite unexpected and I was VERY excited. Great photos, Ruthie!

YonassanGershom said...

Greetings -- I just found your post through the Sand Creek Almanac blog. And wow, such great pix you got of this wonderful bird! If he is staking out your area, watch for HUGE tree holes in dead trees -- see some pix of ones on my land (Pine County, MN) on my blog at http://rooster613.blogspot.com/2011/04/pileated-woodpecker-action-on-dead.html -- enjoy!