Friday, June 19, 2009

Four is always better than one...

I really need to apologize to everyone for being such a behind on visiting every one's blog. The weather has certainly played a huge part in my being indoors or out. I thought I had the perfect plan when I penciled in events for my June calendar. A few days busy and a few days not.. and then the rains came and poured and showered and poured and hailed... and things got canceled and then rescheduled... so now my once neatly scheduled calendar is one big cross out and re-penciled page of days filled with too many gotta dos!! I have had these pictures ready to post for about a week now and I am just now getting around to it!! I miss reading every one's posts and after this weekend I will have more time to catch up!! Sorry.
In April I was shown where a male Pileated Woodpecker was working on a nest. It was shared with me, that he has been a resident of this acreage for several years but had never been seen with a mate. I visited his nest every time I came to this particular area and would watch him work and work to create his digs in this sycamore tree. He literally spent days cleaning out the cavity and enlarging the knot hole and making another hole above the knot hole. Click to enlarge!
Several times that I visited, I would hear him before I actually got to his nest sight...calling and calling..a very terradactyl-like sound. Several other birders had told me he has created a nest before but with no success in attracting a mate....but early in May, a very pretty little female Pileated WP arrived and must have been very impressed with all his hard work, because she decided to stay!! It took several visits before I actually saw her and getting both Pileateds in a photo was not to be ... prior to her nesting! They were both extremely skittish and would scream off into the forest at the slightest noise of anyone passing near by.
It wasn't until the young were born and started popping their little heads out of the nest holes that I even tried to capture a shot...and even then my attempts did not turn out very good!


I was able to crop one photo enough to get a better look at Dad...but it was the little ones who captured my heart when I saw them for the first time!!
Each had taken one of the nest holes as their little port holes to the world and began exploring what was going on outside that sycamore!!


I never attempted to get close to their nest..and most of my observations were made with binoculars..and my 300 mm lens just wasn't powerful enough to get a good sharp image..but I felt thrilled that I was even able to witness all four birds during the same visit!! The babies did fledged last week. I haven't been back to see if they are still around but I'm crossing my fingers that they are and that they continue to call this acreage home, because as all birders know when it comes to those hard to find birds, four is always better than one.

20 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I am so glad you posted those pictures.The Pileated is a special bird to see,and the babies are very cute.
Blessings,Ruth

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Tina, That is just SO neat. I would love to see our Pileated babies... I see and hear them --and know that they are around. BUT--I've never seen their nest. I'm so glad you got to see this---and got these pictures. Thanks SO much!!!

Have a great weekend.
Hugs,
Betsy

Kallen305 said...

Love the Pileated pics! The one where both of them are peeking their heads out is classic!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

We have Pileated Woodpeckers up north at Hasty Brook but I've never been so fortunate as to see a nest and young. Great pix- thanks for sharing!!

I'm feeling kind of stuck in all the things of life that keep me from blogging and visiting too. I think it's just part of the season.

troutbirder said...

The joy...the romance...and a happy ending to boot. I love it!

dAwN said...

Hee hee..that is so cool..Love the babies with heads out the port holes1
Is that one big nest with two holes?
How exciting!

JKoenig said...

Loved your blog and the picture of the babies with their heads sticking out. I have a pilated who I have observed regularly pecking away on a tree I can see from my living room window for a couple of years, but it never dawned on me that he might have a home in that tree. I need to check a little closer for some holes....Thanks...Have a beautiful day.....Janice in Indiana

Chris said...

Hi Tina,
Excellent, truly amazing to see several nest an inch apart!!!
These birds seem to be fantastic, the shape, the color of the head and it size are amazing. I would love to see them one day!!! Great job...

Bird Girl said...

How absolutely wonderful to see such a sight! I know it is hard to get nest shots like these - I only have a 300mm also - and it KILLS me when I see something like this and can't get any closer but you did GREAT! Those little ones with their heads out of the holes is just so neat!!! I am jealous!!! I would love to see these guys nesting!

NCmountainwoman said...

I have searched our woods extensively to find our pileated nest, but I still haven't found it. I'm so glad you not only found this one...you caught some great photographs of the little ones. The two peeping from the two holes is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Simply great!

Eve said...

That is just fantastic Tina! Good job to you and him! I have them here and am thrilled. They chase each other around the trees but so far I haven't found a nest. They may not have one in my woods, and I don't dare wander out too much. I'm having a terrible time with ticks and just weeding my gardens is bad enough!

George said...

How exciting to be able to see the entire family. I hope all four stay in the area so you can continue to enjoy them (and share them with us!).

T and S said...

Awesome luck to see four of these in one place Tina, it should have been an amazing sighting...Thomas

Neal said...

Great shots Tina, as usual. They are a beautiful bird but can also do a lot of damage if they decide that a house is a good target. :)

Abe Lincoln said...

My big ambition is to photograph them in their habitat. I know a sycamore tree with the holes and I can hear them calling but try as I may I have yet to see them. I have a man out in the country next to a wooded area that puts out suet cakes and they fly in and land on that and eat.

fishing guy said...

Tina: What a neat capture, you certainly have a wonderful tree to get these birds in action.

The Birdlady said...

TERRIFIC!!!!

Leedra said...

Such a great experience. Would love to see the babies too. Saw my first Pileated at Cades Cove this spring. They can be noisy!

HANNIBAL said...

Wow, what a great story! I'm so excited for you, what a find...And to see the babies! Wow! Thanks for sharing this with us! I loved it!

jalynn01 said...

Hi Tina: Wow! What an absolutely wonderful post. I loved the little ones with their heads out of their 'own' little holes. I would be beside myself if I could find a Pileated nest and be able to photograph the babies! Lucky You!! I have been absent awhile, but hopefully am back. I've missed alot!

would like to hear your thoughts..