Thursday, July 2, 2009

Isn't she lovely?

Do you know anyone with brown eyes and red hair? It's pretty uncommon from what I've read, due to the combination of chromosomes and genes. However, pileated woodpeckers have brown eyes and red hair. Okay, so they're feathers, if you want to get technical. I took this picture a few weeks ago. Click on it to see her close-up. I heard a strange noise and when I looked outside, there she was. She was checking out the bird feeder, though she never actually jumped up into it. She seemed more interested in resting and often had her beak open as if she was hot. She sat there for a long time, just watching me and preening herself. I knew she was a female because she didn't have a red streak near her beak. Only males have red moustaches, so they're easily to tell apart. She was big too, like the size of a crow. Some interesting facts about pileated woodpeckers ...
  • They live in large nests in cavities of dead trees.
  • They usually build a new home each year.
  • Insects, fruits, berries, and nuts are their diet.
  • Their call is a wild laughing sound.
  • The inside of their wings are white.
  • Pileated woodpeckers are monogamous for life.
  • They have 1 to 6 eggs each year.
  • Both parents incubate the eggs.
  • They drum to declare their territory.
  • Predators are hawks, owls, weasels, foxes, squirrels, and snakes.
  • Woody Woodpecker was a pileated woodpecker.

This picture was taken through my window. Had I opened the door, she would have flown away because she was only a few feet from me. I often joke that I'm an indoor wildlife photographer, since a lot of my pictures are taken from the inside of the house. I'm fortunate to be able to see a lot of interesting critters where I live now. I finally broke down and had to wash my windows yesterday because they were starting to put a damper on my photographs. As I sit here this morning, I can hear a pileated woodpecker drumming a short distance away. It keeps getting drowned out by the stupid turkeys who woke me up this morning with their gobbling. In between the two, I also hear robins and chickadees carrying on, plus the squirrels chirping. I swear, this place is an absolute zoo sometimes!


  1. You are an amazing photographer. Plus, great sense of humor. Thanks for the smile along with the info.

  2. It sounds amazing and you're very lucky to be able to be there to see it all.


  3. wow! She is a beautiful creature! Great picture!

  4. The size of a crow? Wow, that IS huge. O_O I've never seen woodpeckers that size before.

    Great pic, Rena. I know what you mean about having to shoot from indoors - that pic I showed you yesterday was taken inside. I discovered that our sliding glass windows have a green tint to them. So now I have to run a red filter over my pics if I'm taking them from indoors (via Photoshop), just to neutralise the green tint. Ah, the joys of art.


  5. Beautiful picture, Rena! I didn't know about the red mustache thing!
    We see these woodpeckers a lot at my dad's cabin in northern Wisconsin! They are so big!

  6. Hi Rena, love this shot, i have a thing aboot the birds the feathered type of course. My wife has red hair and brown eyes, because she is descendent of the Celtic Scottish race.

  7. Great photo :)
    Although I'm not sure anything could make me break down and wash the windows!

  8. Wonderful picture Rena!

  9. Yes! You do have a zoo there. And great opportunities for photographing.