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Posts Tagged ‘red headed’

Last week I came across a new area where Redheaded Woodpeckers were foraging and nesting. There were hundreds of debarked trees; old elms, sycamores, cottonwoods, hackberries, persimmons, and oaks. I noticed one redheaded woodpecker and then a dozen  more sharing the same area. One pair was nesting only 4-5 feet above ground; the rest 20-35 feet up. That was the lowest RH Woodpecker nesting I have ever seen. It was dark and raining so I could not use a good setting to “stop” action, so a may photos are not clear or just OOF. Not happy with the photos. There are a lot of photos; no sun until late afternoon:

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A beautiful and colder morning again finds this Red-headed Woodpecker in Murray Valley against a backdrop of sycamore trees:

 

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Until the become adults, Red-headed woodpeckers sport a gray head. Babies are born gray headed. During the first fall, they begin a molt that leaves them completely red headed. This bird is in the in-between stage and I think has a slightly shorter tail that a mature bird:

 

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This guy was calling and caching acorns yesterday; very intent on his work; so intent that I was allowed to approach the tree:

 

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I found this pair with 2 nestlings from the car window this morning, over near the Little Buffalo River. They were busy feeding wasps and aquatic insects to the babies. In the final photo, you have to look up and right to see the nest hole and the nestling. This may be the 2nd brood; not sure ??

 

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Form the same foraging area I posted about yesterday; this pair is feeding nestings; they work together at this point, and never are both parents gone at the same time. All in all, there are maybe 6 adult redheaded woodpeckers living in the forage area. Taken with a Canon 70D and a Canon EF600L f/4.0 IS and a 1.4X TC.

 

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The Redheaded woodpecker are using last fall’s forage which the cached in a stump; very smart of them considering how cold and icy this winter has been. It was a nice day yesterday and today we started out at 10F but have quickly risen into the 40s. This week looks to be a lot warmer with temperatures reaching the mid-60s in a few days:

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In a broken off tree in the backyard (first time I’ve seen a Red-headed Woodpecker in the yard), a young red-headed woodpecker !! They are born around the first of June with a completely grey head which they keep for most of the first year until the first molt in early spring the following year; he/she is in the molting process now. Taken with a Canon 1DS Mark III with a Canon 600mm f/4 and a 1.4 TC:

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The temperatures are supposed to hover in the mid to upper 90s for afternoon highs starting tomorrow. We completely missed lout on all the rain this Friday and Saturday. It formed east of Newton County, Arkansas. Next chance appears to be next Saturday or Sunday. I am thankful for the rain we received so far this year, but we still need a little rain now and then throughout the summer. The photos show the beautiful coloring of a Red-headed woodpecker in flight including the numerous white wing and body feathers.

We got a few long range (100 yards from tree) photos of a pair of Red-headed woodpeckers feeding thier nestlings yesterday, but, we tried to capture them while in flight to and from the nesting hole (whioch can be seen in one photo). We used a Canon 50D with a 400mm f/5.6 lens (ISO 1600, Speed 1/2,500 of a second):

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Try as I may, I cannot keep this guy from tearing up a rail, even after I tried to repair it ! I’m happy though because the population here is doing real well. Got about an inch of rain last night and early this morning around 4:30 – 5:30 AM with some bright lightening; the creeks and waterfalls will be running today.

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