Jan 11-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: January: Jan 11-05
Birdwatching    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Lori LaRoux

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 05:42 am:

No other living woodpecker can be confused with the Pileated Woodpecker photographed here, by Lori LaRoux. Looks like this one was busily pecking holes in the pine tree looking for dinner of course. Take a look around the holes it has already made in the trunk and you'll notice the bark pecked away. These crow size woodpeckers do this so that the sap will run down, keeping some predators from entering. They will make up to 16 holes in each tree, to allow for escape routes should a predator get past that sap and into the tree. I've always thought these birds were quite skittish when it comes to people, so I was surprised when Lori sent me this shot taken right in downtown Lake Linden!

Not the first time the Pasty Cam has spotted the work of one of these craftsmen...

Close shave
As seen on April 5, 2001

By Marko Columbus Ohio on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 05:57 am:


By Marko CMH on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 05:59 am:

Had to get that first post in !!!!!!
Look at all the snow !!! It only rains in OHIO !
Sure wish that white stuff would cover this place.

By Paul, Webberville Troll on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 06:04 am:

We sometimes see one of these giant birds at our feeders about 10 feet outside our picture window. They go after the sunflower seeds and also the suet. Quite a sight to watch. This picture looks like a sawmill had been running here.

By Rich Adams on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 06:05 am:

WOW i wos going down calumet ave. yesterday and seen one of the same kind of birds,i realy dont think anyone beleaved me how big it wos,now maybe i can back my story up.my cousen and i were walking and seen a tree like that one and started laughing becouse it looks like a big 7 foot woodpecker been flying arround,boy they shure do alot of damages to a tree.

By Mary, NWOh on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 06:21 am:

Beautiful bird, not beautiful what they do to a tree! NW Ohio is having another round of snow/ice this morning. I'd take feet of UP snow anyday. Its supposed to get to the 40's or 50's today and tomorrow so it will all go away again. Too bad! Have a good day, everyone.

By smf in troll land on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 06:21 am:

Wow! Can't believe how busy they are!

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 07:11 am:

My goodness! I've never seen one that size or doing that much damage.

By LZ, SWMI on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 07:15 am:

A welcome pic and diversion. I've just travel 30 miles over ice covered roads to works. Give me a foot or two of UP snow anytime! The site gives me a momentary chance to unwind before tackling today’s project.

By Roudy Mi on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 07:39 am:

What damage??? Mother nature is doing what she does best; running things as she sees fit to run them.

By Mr. Bill on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 08:03 am:

I saw one last week too. I couldn't believe that it was here in the winter, but they're so big there is no mistaking them.

By H. Donn de Yampert, PT, DPT. on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 08:18 am:

Nice and a Zman addition with a "macro" of a woodpecker. See https://pasty.com/pcam/Z-man/PB242426az

Thanks for the link, Donn...you can also check out Z-Man's additions in the Pasty Archives, from the day they were posted: Z-Man's captures!

By noflyintoday on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 08:19 am:

the original "re-cycler"

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 08:19 am:

We had a pair of pileated woodpeckers stake out a tree on our lot line in Aura. It was a good-sized birch tree and they did so much damage our neighbor cut the tree down before it fell. All this happened during the winter last year, so we missed all the action! A sighting of one of these birds is something to remember. My first was in Brimley. We were driving down the road when I spotted it. I exclaimed, "What was that?".
My husband slammed on the brakes and we made a U-turn to take a gander (or do you only say that if it's a goose?).

By maijaMI on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 08:23 am:

I agree with Roudy. If you look at just one instance, one picture, there will be a balance that you do not see. The insects eaten undoubtedly would have damaged that tree, with potential for damage to many trees.

By JKL on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 08:34 am:

I believe the pileated is the largest woodpecker in North America. If you look closely, the hole to their nest is usually more square than round like most woodpeckers. Their range is obviously far reaching, as we have them on a regular basis in our back yard just north of Atlanta, Georgia.

By Chris in Georgia on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 08:54 am:

Have you ever seen what a pileated woodpecker can do to a house? The noise alone is enough to wake you up in a hurry. Why they would want to peck on a house so close to people is beyond me, but they do.

By Sarah, Central WI on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 09:01 am:

What a pretty bird! Thanks Mary for that little trivia about the bird. I never knew that!

Your welcome, Sarah! See, you really do learn something new every day! :->

By Mel, Kansas on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 09:09 am:

Typically the only reason a pileated goes at a tree with such gusto is because it's already filled with beetles, their larvae, and other insects. You'd find the tree rotting and falling over within a couple of years without the woodpecker's help. Leaving snags in your yard or woodlot is a good thing - provides a lot of food and shelter for more than just the woodpeckers. The only time a dead tree should be cut down is if it poses a danger to your home. Otherwise they should be left to fall naturally.

Woodpeckers will peck at houses with wood siding when insects get in underneath it, but will also find something nice and hard to peck at during mating season, trying to be the loudest bird in the neighborhood. My parents (in the LP) have northern flickers that will perch themselves on the metal vents on the roof and drum away. Drives them and the 'girls' nuts.

By SarahK, MI on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 09:20 am:

I noticed many of these trees in the Porkies last summer/fall. Very interesting.

By sandstone princess on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 09:24 am:

Roudy, I agree with you, also.
I have always loved woodpeckers, they are a beautiful bird, love the sound they make.
Mornin' to the Jake nesters & to dah sistahs.

By Kathy from Whitmore Lake/Cheboygan on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 10:13 am:

We've seen these woodpeckers, or evidence of their presence, up north near our place in Cheboygan. They are a "wow" sight the first time you see one.

Down here in SE Michigan we have what's known as a "wintry mix": snow + sleet + freezing rain. Made for a cautious commute to work. It's upposed to get up to 50 tomorrow (& rain) and then have a high of 10 on Saturday!

By dave - Colorado on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 10:45 am:

Pileated Woodpeckers, the shy symbol of mature forests, are truely wonderful birds... as long as they are working over someone else's tree...

By Jeff in Houston on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 10:47 am:

I remember being awakened very early one weekend morning by one of these guys trying to drill into the metal cover of our chimney! Talk about a rude & confusing way to wake up...

By julie b., MI on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 10:58 am:

Hey Jeff -

You got that right! About as close to being awakened by machine gun fire as you can get! They do that to us every mating season - really gets your heart rate up even if you are awake and just reading or watching TV!

By Dr. Nat in Nevada on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 11:19 am:

We used to have several types of woodpeckers around our place in Red Jacket Shaft. In addition to the pileated woodpecker, we had a couple pairs of hairy and downy woodpeckers. All three types loved pecking on the suet ball we would hang from a birch tree.
I don't miss the snow in the U.P., but I do miss being able to look out my back window at the bird feeder and watch all the different types of birds and other wild animals that wandered through our yard. In addition to birds like juncos, chickadees, pine siskins, and relpolls, we had foxes, bear, deer, and even a wolf in our yard.
Here in Vegas, we live in a nice house, but it's on a tiny lot in the city. No birds visit our tiny backyard. The sky never really darkens, the traffic never stops. I spent most of my life in the rural West, and these days I wish I lived on a ranch again, even if the darn bull liked to sleep in my carport!
Enjoy the beautiful birds in the U.P.! Thank you for the fine photograph.

By CJ Wisconsin on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 11:29 am:

I wlways knew the pileatd woodpecker by that name until I taught one year (1965-66) in Ahmeek. The kids taught me the name "cock of the walk." Any Ahmeek/Mohawk former students of that school can verify?

By Bob on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 11:36 am:

I've been up in the hills behind Hubbell and lake Linden bird hunting, when I've come across a flock of these migrating thru.

Just fun to sit down and watch them work.

By pungvait mi on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 12:34 pm:

I'm feeding about 1.5 lbs of suet per week to a pileated and a few hairies and downies in beautiful downtown Mason location

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 01:59 pm:

And what say you, Mr. Wheatman?

By M.B., IL-WI-MI on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 03:10 pm:

I have seen these woodpeckers before - actually in Eagle River, MI. Plus, I have seen them in northern Illinois in my hometown. My hometown would be classified as urban, but with lots of mature trees and parks throughout the neighborhoods.

By lmr hancock on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 03:31 pm:

My sister and her husband came home in the spring to find a pileated woodpecker trying to get into the garage. It had taken huge chucks out of their window frame on a new garage. The bird could see the dead flies on the window sill. This year they boarded up the window with hopes of it staying away.

By Brendan, Milwaukee WI on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 04:34 pm:

About 3-4 years ago, I was at my parents near Jim's Foodmart on Houghton Ave., and I heard a loud pecking, went outside to see what it was...one of those huge woodpeckers, it left quite a hole in the next door neighbor's tree. I watched it for awhile, and then it slowly flew up Garnett St. to the next tree. I love the picture with all the saw dust. Overcast and wet day in Milwaukee, hope the roads are salted.

By Therese from just below the bridge on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 04:41 pm:

Is it pronounced "pee-leated" or "pie-leated"? And did ya know that is the bird that inspired the cartoon Woody Woodpecker?

By Yooper in Cadillac on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 06:23 pm:

Bob, pileated woodpeckers do not migrate, but rather are permanent residents. Also, I have never seen "flocks" of them, only pairs or an adult and 3-4 fledglings. Check out the USGS web site for tons of info on these beautiful birds...

By saw last pasty website on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 08:08 pm:

pee leated

By Birder on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 08:34 pm:

would that be pill-e-ated?

By Ken ja Mimi from da UP on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 11:12 pm:

Looks like the tree in today's pic is not long for this world, 'eh? A healthy tree isn't loaded with bugs, larvae, etc. I'm sure the powers that be in LL wouldn't let it fall on its own.

By Suzy/Icy Cold Minnnnesota on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 11:39 pm:

Here's my Jampot favorites: Wild Blueberry(Because the monks always ask me how the picking was on Mt. Baldy and I tell them how great it was!) Blackberry /Cherry is awesome,also currant. Strawberry is especially good in January. Peach/Brandy is a real treat too. But you have to wait a few months for the ginger/lemon cream muffins/cupcakes!

By MOLSON IN TWIN CITIES on Wednesday, January 12, 2005 - 12:19 am:


By Doug, IN on Wednesday, January 12, 2005 - 01:26 pm:

Molson - It won't take the woodpeckers long to realize the owl is a fake. I have also had woodpeckers damage my wood siding. A wildlife control expert told me to hang shiny ribbons where the damage was. They will move in the breeze and light will reflect off them. That should be enough to keep them away. Also, be sure to fill in the holes and paint over them or more will be attracted later.

By Tim, Green Bay. on Friday, January 14, 2005 - 11:37 pm:

I remember many years back....I was deer hunting up in the yellow dog plains...I was standing under a giant white pine for aboot 30 minutes..just then a big Woody Woodpecker let out a thunderous "EEE EEE EEE EEE EEE EEE EEE!!!!!!!" ( hard to write this sound) Scared the heck out of me!! Right above me!!! Never forgot that one!!!

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