BWCA Pileated woodpeckers Boundary Waters Group Forum: Bird Watchers
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thegildedgopher
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01/11/2021 07:58AM  
I grew up in a house with a big window by the kitchen table looking out onto a wooded lot that was popular with many birds. A ragged copy of Peterson's Field Guide to Birds was ever present, and the spine is permanently cracked so the book naturally opens to the woodpecker section. These birds have always fascinated me and I spent a lot of time letting my Cheerios get soggy while watching the red flashes flitter from tree to tree. I was enamored with the drawings of the Pileated, but never saw one in 39 years, until this week. I've been spending a lot of time fat biking near the Mississippi river here in the Twin Cities and have been noticing some ENORMOUS holes pecked through trees and hearing their work reverberate through the quiet winter woods. The other day I had my mind blown, stopped for a drink and a breath and a large red flash caught my eye in the distance. I spent the next 5-10 minutes or so watching not one, but TWO of these cool birds chase each other around the trees and eventually land together on the same massive holey tree that I can only guess might be their home.

I know this bird has made a comeback and is not as rare as it was 30 years ago, but this was a major thrill for me. Just thought I'd share :)
 
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inspector13
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01/11/2021 11:58AM  

Their presence is another reason I leave the snags standing on my Lake County property. When I first bought the land almost 20 years ago, one loudly protested as my father cut a large dead aspen that could have jeopardized my future building. Although I don’t see them every year, I hear their calls and drumming often and see their rectangular shaped feeding holes everywhere. One spring I saw either a courtship ritual or territorial dispute. They were moving too fast and were too far away to see their sex, so I couldn’t decide what I was witnessing.

 
01/11/2021 05:15PM  
We used to see them and their handiwork occasionally and hear them often when we owned some 60 wooded acres near the Ausable River in Michigan. Two years ago I found this tree in a campsite on Sagus Lake in the BWCA.
 
JWilder
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01/18/2021 11:57AM  
Just had one in my tree. By the time I grabbed the camera, he flew off. Grrr.

First one I have seen in this area so far...
 
kirkfish
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01/18/2021 09:16PM  
Great bird- we had a pair nest in our Central WI yard a couple of years ago and they visit our winter suet feeder at times
 
RLJ
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02/20/2021 12:00PM  
A pair of these guys working over my Maple tree.
 
HistoryDoc
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02/24/2021 07:58AM  
We've had periodic visits from a good-looking big Pileated a few times this year. We are in south-central Virginia. Camera is at the ready.
 
jhb8426
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03/07/2021 09:57PM  
I have one come to my suet feeders a couple of times a week. The feeders are those 6 in. square jobs. He barely fits on it. I've also seen crows try it but they can't seem to hang on and get the suet.
 
thegildedgopher
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03/15/2021 06:21PM  
My son and stood in the backyard in the snow today watching one go to town on the telephone pole. Neat stuff.
 
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