Jan 01-10

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2010: January: Jan 01-10
Feeder friend    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Donna MacIntosh
Peck, peck, peck...    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Russ Emmons

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 08:01 am:

It is said that the cartoon character, Woody Woodpecker, was designed with the Pileated Woodpecker in mind and since there are a number of similarities, I guess that might be true. This woodpecker, measuring in at about the same size as a crow, is common to the U.P., but they're normally a somewhat "skittish" bird, so snapping a picture of one is a feat in itself. Kudos, to Donna MacIntosh and Russ Emmons for capturing these shots for us today.

Donna's photo was taken right in her backyard in Baraga. The normal diet for a Pileated Woodpecker is mainly insects, but they will also eat fruits, nuts and berries. Maybe this guy was tired of pecking for his grub, so he decided to take advantage of the free offerings at Donna's bird feeder. I'm sure she didn't mind, because after all, Donna ended up with a great shot of him, plus the thrill of seeing him that closely.

Russ was able to get up close and personal with the bird, too, only his photo gives us a good profile view of this truly impressive creature. If you're interested in hearing his "call," which sounds like he just might be laughing at you, just click here: Pileated Call

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 08:12 am:

Good morning, and Happy New Year!!! I must still be a bit jet-lagged to be up at such an hour when I don't have to work today.....

We had several Pileateds at our feeders in Red Jacket throughout the year. They are very comical to watch and hear, especially in the fall when the berries and such have fermented in the trees.

By Donna (Donna) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 08:27 am:

This is the first year in all the years I've been feeding our fine feathered friends, that I've even seen this bird in my feeders!

That feeder is a log with 4 holes drilled in it and it was designed for woodpeckers. The refill packs have 4 suet plugs with different types of fill for them. There's a Hot Pepper, Mixed Berries, Mixed Insects, etc. I bought this at Countryside in Baraga last year, and have had many of the Hairy Woodpeckers and the Downy Woodpeckers in it. The Starlings like it a lot too, as do the bigger Nut Hatches, Bluejays and even a Chickadee or two...Love to watch the birds...(however, the raccoons LOVE this thing, so you gotta be careful on when you put it out!)

Happy New Year everyone! May there be MAGIC DUST surrounding everyone and everything. Let 2010 bring in some stellar stuff!

By Donna (Donna) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 08:28 am:

And yes...that bird is tough to get a picture of!

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 09:24 am:

Good close-ups. Seems like you don't see woodpeckers that frequent, at least where I live.

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 09:24 am:

We had dinner at the Harbor Haus in the late fall this year and a pileated woodpecker came in and was helping itself to the mountain ash berries outside the window we were seated near. I'd never seen one so close and the folks moving around on our side of the glass didn't seem to bother it a bit. When I pointed out what I was watching to Molly, our waitress, she said, "Oh, that's just Woody."

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 10:04 am:

I always take my binoculars into the Harbor Haus to scan the far-off surroundings, such as what's in the water or on the tree tops. That would be cool to see a pileated woodpecker right next to the window there! Our cottage is on the eastern shore of Keweenaw Bay in Aura. A few years ago there were two pileated woodpeckers just a couple yards from my living room window and only a couple yards up the birch tree. I was hoping to inch to my camera, but they saw me and flew. Another pair did cause the loss of a different birch tree out my kitchen window.

By Helen Marie Chamberlain (Helen) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 10:19 am:

SUPER photos, Donna and Russ. Thank you! Wonderful to see such close-ups.


By Nate (Nalwine) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 10:55 am:

hello All, I have a question that I hope someone on here can answer. What are the current conditions in Skanee? I'm assuming we can drive into Skanee--but is the road open as far as McComb Corner? We were planning on a winter camping trip into Sylvania, but logistics are causing us to eye either the Keeweenaw or Huron Mountain area. If we can get our truck as far as McComb Corner then we would be able to have faster access to the Huron River and more time to explore that part of the Hurons. Otherwise I think it adds another 5 miles to the snowshoe and with the amount of time we have for our adventure--it might not be quite enough.

By Deb L. (Lakegirl) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 11:34 am:

Happy New Years everyone!!

By Robert H. Baker (Rhb) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 11:48 am:

That is some great photo's today. Happy New Year to everyone!

By Wes Scott (Travelnorth) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 11:55 am:

Years ago my Grandfather took cob corn in his golf bag to Florida so he could feed the Woodpeckers that migrated to Florida.
He always had a Pileated Woodpecker come and
eat the corn. I thought they migrated in the winter? Apparently some hang around?
Imagine today what airport security would think
of a golf bag full of corn? I've only have seen one once in my life when camping. They are huge!

By Richard Wieber (Dickingrayling) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 12:52 pm:

I have a question---How do you pronounce the name of that woodpecker? Have heard it many ways: pi-leated, pill-e ated,etc.. The only one I have ever studied was pecking on a cedar in Houghton Lake. The hole started out square but got rounder as it deepened. This has puzzled me for years.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 01:07 pm:


I believe the correct pronunciation for the Pileated Woodpecker is PIE-lee-ay-tid or PILL-ee-ay-tid. Although I highly doubt the birds care about how one says their name....

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 06:35 pm:

Yes the Pileateds don't like to be watched or to sit still long! They usually position themselves around the other side of a tree trunk or post and quickly "peek" around to see if someone is there!

Pileateds have always been around the family "camp" in Kalkaska county and all over the NLP. Recent years they have been "taking back" their old territorys down here in the SE LP even being seen here in St. Clair county and right here in our yard on occasion! Bird feeders down this way that "think" they saw a huge Woodpecker at their feeders, pay attention you could just be seeing one!

Another woodpecker bird feeders in the UP should be on the lookout for now is the Red-bellied Woodpecker 'Melanerpes carolinus' Blue Jay sized, originally a bird of the south, expanded into SLP about 30 years ago, moving northward, now established in the NLP and just recently a few scattered reports in the UP! Watch for it, versatile, very hardy, feisty and even aggresive!

Capt. Paul is correct, two ways of pronouncing it, many tho feeling "their" way of the 2 is correct!


By Donna (Donna) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 08:13 pm:

I have a picture of the red bellied on my bulletin board at work...I did catch it here in my yard in Baraga a year or so ago...That's the only time I know for sure. There have been several times that different birds have caught my eye, but I'm never sure...now I'm thinking this may be the culprit!

By Ken ja Mimi from da UP (Kenjamimi) on Friday, January 1, 2010 - 10:53 pm:

Couple weeks ago or so I was walking about a mile north of the house when a big Pileated flew across right in front of me. It sorta surprised me, when I heard the 'swoosh' of it's wings. :o) I would say it had a 3 foot wingspan or more.

By Greta Jones (Urbanescapees) on Saturday, January 2, 2010 - 12:56 am:

Super shots Donna and Russ! These guys are very difficult to photograph, as they are quick on the move and shy. Your feeder, Donna, is quite unique. I've never seen one like that and would like to get one. It's easy to see how one like that would attract woodpeckers, even the pileated.
Happy New Year to all!

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