25 September 2010

Spot the woodpecker

This morning I was stalking the birds at the bird feeder with my color camera in hand (see below) when I thought I spotted something unusual on the trunk of the measly plum tree next to the feeder. It was a woodpecker. Can you find it in the picture below?


Here is a closer look at the center of the same picture. There is the woodpecker.


This was the only picture of it I could take before it flew away. It was either a hairy woodpecker (Picoides villosus) or a downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens). Maybe a serious bird watcher, which I am not, can pinpoint the species.

As for color cameras, or rather, cameras loaded with color film, there was a time when they were rare and novelty items. Stalking birds with color camera was the name of a book I saw at the local public library's used book sale last month. Amazon, where many cheap copies are available, gives the date of the 1st edition as 1951. We have come a long way.


5 comments:

John said...

I wouldn't venture an ID based on the bird's appearance since I can't see the bill or the tail. You might be able to figure out which one it is based on size if you know the thickness of the large branch that crosses in front of the woodpecker. There is a three-inch difference in the average lengths of the two species.

forestwalk/laura k said...

nice shot!

i think it's the Downy Woodpecker, as they have a patch of red on top of their heads and the black band that runs through the eye...

xoggoth said...

Wierd. That looks very like the male British Great Spotted Woodpecker except that has the white round the eyes and black above rather than the reverse. The red patch at the back and the white spots on black wings are exactly the same. Closely related species maybe.

Schnäggli said...

Here in Europe there's a similar woodpecker, Dendrocopos major, but I am not familiar with North-American species.

Kazimir Majorinc said...

There is interesting post in Damir Repic's blog about woodpecker - author recorded and analyzed the sound. It is very cute blog, if you know Croatian or Google translate works for you. If not, you can still look pictures and listen the sound.