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Fun With a PIWO

On the morning of the last day of Mark’s last visit, April 26, 2015, the forecast (and more importantly the doppler confirmed it) was terrible, and Mark had a terrible head cold and or allergy issue going on. He was feeling terrible! However, earlier that week he had brought in an interesting photo of a clearly active, freshly constructed cavity that was approximately 65 meters from the road he spotted it from. It didn’t take a lot of persuading to get him to agree to go with me the morning of the 26th. While we both expected the cavity (for a number of reasons, in spite of its apparent shape) to house a Pileated Woodpecker or PIWO, the shape was intriguing (from the road, anyway) enough to make it worthwhile to see what popped out the next morning. We arrived at daylight on the 26th. I strolled quietly out to about ten yards from the cavity tree. Mark, with his bigger lens stayed with the truck. I played a Pileated Drum, followed by a “scolding” “Kuk” series. Immediately, the male PIWO pictured below popped his head out. This is Mark’s best result – the light, and angle was bad and the ISO makes the pic quite grainy. Mark PIWO

This is the best one of a series of pics taken by me at the same time Mark took the one above. PIWO cavity head

When he flushed, I tried several times to get a photo or two on the wing. This is the only one where he was in the frame: Flying PIWO

Then, he perched in a nearby tree, scolding.

Perched PIWO

I’ve never noticed a PIWO doing that with its crest before. Interesting… After scolding me for a bit, he circled around and flew off – likely to check on a nearby mate. Having bothered him enough for the day, I eased back to the truck and Mark and I headed home. These poor photos are the best we could do – with a bird we fully expected to be there and good open shooting. The point being made is – birds are difficult to photograph under the best of conditions. The reason I wanted to do a post on it? I wanted to share a cool moment in our efforts with our readers. Hope y’all enjoy… Frank

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One Comment on “Fun With a PIWO”

  1. Charles Brum says:

    you did better than me today. I saw a large HOLE IN A TREE ON FLATBUSH AVENUE AND WHEN A HEAD POKED OUT IT WAS A starling-yuck. At any rate good luck to you guys in my home country- and please see the real thing next time.


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