I saw a woodpecker this morning at my suet feeder and it was one I’d never seen in my yard before, much less in the middle of January. Still, we’ve had a lot of different species of poodweckers here over the years. Here’s an accounting…..
Most common are the look alike Downy’s and Hairy’s. The latter are about one/third bigger. They are both at my suet feeders year around with the Downy’s somewhat more numerous.
Next, also year around and fairly common are the red bellied woodpeckers. This has been so for at least 15 to 20 years now but represents a big change from the past. They have gradually expanded their range while replacing the red headed woodpecker.
Redheaded woodpeckers have now become occasional, even rare visitors, in our woods. This appears to be true thru much of southeastern Minnesota were they were once common. The reasons for this change seem to be unclear…
I have seen Pileated Woodpeckers in my yard about 5 times in fifty years of living here on Oak Hill. They are a deep big woods bird more common in the few remaining tracts of river bottoms and State Parks and Reserves. They are found in such places years round. One of them really stands out in my memory. Some years ago I had a very large black cherry tree next to my house. Looking out our living room window into the backyard, I noticed piles of woodchips surrounding that tree. Thinking a possible vandal had gone amok with a chainsaw, further investigation revealed it had been a pileated woodpecker at work. Turned out the tree was mostly hollow and teeming with huge black carpenter ants. Since it already leaned abit toward our house I had the tree removed and owed The Pileated Family a debt of gratitude for revealing our danger.
I had to go far afield to see my first Lewis woodpecker. Named after the undaunted explorer Merewether Lewis it is a Western bird who range extends only as far east as the Badland of South Dakota. That's where I saw it along with a Clarks Nutcracker a member of the Jay family.
Lewis and Clark as it were....:)
Lewis and Clark as it were....:)
Yellow shafted Northern Flicker (a ground hunting for insects member of the woodpecker family).. Quite common here except in Winter. Today I saw one at the suet feeder. January 15th amazing….:)
And finally for you veteran bloggers who remember back in the day my all time favorite----Woody
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What I meant to say was thank you for your nice selection of photos of one of my favorite birds to watch. I've got some Ladderbacks trying to bring down the utility pole behind my house. Love the Northern Flicker...he's a beaut!ReplyDelete
Great pictures of the Woodies!!!! We have all of them here (more Downys than Hairys) except for the Lewis Woodpecker.. I've never seen that one.ReplyDelete
Our Pileateds are year-round and we see them almost every single day...
The Red-headeds are my favorite though --but I love them all.
A nice collection, I put suet and peanuts out to attract them.Woody is still a favorite what a great series of cartoonsReplyDelete
I've always enjoyed seeing woodpeckers. The Red Headed are VERY shy---I used to have them in Illinois, but not here (so far?)ReplyDelete
The Lewis one is a new one to me. Maybe a trip in the making.......
We have Hairys here that visit the suet. Would love to see a red headed one.ReplyDelete
You have a great variety of woodpeckers. Our kinds are fewer that they could be. Living in town makes it harder to draw some of them. The red headed ones live along the two big rives on either side of the state. Pileated probably have never been in this area. The flicker is rarely seen. Great collection of photos that you share.ReplyDelete
Loved all the cool shots of the woodies. I had a red belly at my hummingbird feeder this summer. The Pileated Woodpeckers are my favorite but sadly I haven't seen any in Arkansas yet.ReplyDelete
I love to watch the woodpeckers...mainly because of the reason you cited--they alert you to diseased trees. We have a hawk who is stalking our yard lately...I do not like him. :(ReplyDelete
We have a beautiful red-bellied at our feeders this winter. He's so big he about sinks the ship but he loves sunflower seeds. You have quite a selection in your yard!ReplyDelete
We have two Pileated from time to time. Red bellied, Downys and Hairys..we also get some Sapsuckers from time to time. I have never seen a Yellow Shafted Northern Flicker...good for you it is a beauty! :) IF you are getting that ice storm...be careful out there:)ReplyDelete
Awww! I see most of those beauties around here every single winter. All except that last one, it seems. :-)ReplyDelete
Cool post on woodpeckers. they're interesting to watch. We get 4 of these.ReplyDelete
Gosh, I didn't know there were so many woodpeckers! Unfortunately I only see the Greater Spotted because I don't live in the right part of the country. I had a surprise bird visitor today, it was either a great black backed gull or a lesser black backed gull, miles away from his usual area so there was great excitement.ReplyDelete
We saw one Pileated Woodpecker in the 10 years here. It was a very exciting moment. I appreciated you commenting on my recent blog post. Nice to meet you.ReplyDelete
Great post.... I've learned a lot about woodpeckers.ReplyDelete
What's a "poodwecker" ? Just kidding. I love the pictures. I, too, had two pileated woodpeckers once but it was years ago. It was such a treat.ReplyDelete