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Pileated woodpecker

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Bob Coutant, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. I’ve been trying to get one of these for over a year. I find trees they’ve worked, and I see them flying in my woods, but, until today, I’ve not been able to get a clear shot. Note the excavations – I have found holes measuring 11 inches in diameter. The image is soft, but then what can you expect from a 70-300G fully extended and handheld. [I need to drop a few hints about a better lens for this sort of thing.] I was happy to finally get one in the camera.:biggrin:

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  2. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    You say a little soft, but nonetheless, I'd take it in a minute. I've been with folks that have seen one of these, but never seen one myself. Considering the fact that it was hand held, I think you did quite well. I would have probably passed out from the adrenalin rush. :smile:

    Congratulations. :wink:
  3. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  4. Great going Bob. I have gone after these guys with big great glass, tripods and camo and I have NOTHING to show for it. Might be a lesson here???
  5. Callie

    Callie Guest

    Hi Bob
    NICE. You did well in seeing and nailing this little beauty. I have seen his Brittish cousin fleetingly, but no pic. This is where the lure of bird photography really lies - its the getting, not the having, so you will keep on shooting until you nail him perfecly, and then you will want him in flight, then at the nest then . . .sigh. I have been reading and looking at the 200-400 SWM, now this is the lens I think, to have in these situations. Deeper sigh, coupled with D2X - deepest sigh.
    Keep them comming
  6. I can sympathize with you and I think you did well. For well over a year now we have had one of these lighting on our windowsill and peering in at us. He (she?) even pecks on the window sometimes- has even done some damage. I have left the camera in strategic locations to grab and shoot, but the bird leaves at the first sign of motion from inside.

    One of these days I'll get 'em!:mad: 
  7. Bob -

    Pileated's are notoriously shy and their "circle of fear" is quite large. This is one of those situations where the rare opportunity certainly surpasses any quibbles about a tiny bit of softness from a hand-held long shot... perhaps you'll have other chances to use a tripod at a later date. In the meantime, this is still a keeper!
  8. Thanks for looking and commenting guys and gals.
    Frank, I was excited and still am -- so much so that I neglected to clean up the background.
    Paul, as Gary pointed out, this is probably not the same as your woodpecker. This one is a female and is a little smaller than Gary's quoted 18 inches, but still a good size for a woodpecker. BTW - I couldn't access your link.
    Dave, I was just walking around when I heard her working this tree -- as someone once said, "I'd rather be lucky than good." They are elusive, especially the male -- I've had the male announce my approach to the woods and never shut up until I had retreated across the neighboring field.
    Callie, you're pushing things a little too far. Right now I'd be happy with a good 300 plus a TC (and a shot of the male:wink:) .
  9. Pa, what do you use for bait? That would be something to see one on the window sill!

    Dave -- shy is not the right word -- the male can be very noisy in defense of his territory.
  10. This guys is high on my list of birds to capture and have only seen one for a fleetign moment
  11. Hi Bob,

    A really nice capture. I have never seen one here in Ohio, and like you have rarely even seen signs of their work.

    We did get in a few photos of one during Merritt Island Shoot #1 in February. It was the only time we ever saw one and fortunately had our cameras. It was posted here:

    A really big bird and easily spooked.
    Bob & Nan
  12. aren't they "prehistoric" looking ?!

    I love these characters. I've seen them up in Maine, but never when I had the camera at hand, of course! You're soooooooo lucky !! Congats.
    Cheers -- Anne Di.
    aka Andrea B.
  13. Mike -- all you need is a little luck
    Hi Bob -- I missed your earlier post of this bird -- on a palm tree no less. At least you got one of the male. We have at least one pair resident in our woods, so stop by if you want to go hunting some day -- no guarantees however.
    Anne, these are neat birds. The only thing that even comes close is the ivory bill, but, of course, our chances of seeing one of those are miniscule (there have been reports from LA in recent years).
  14. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    Dont' have a woodpecker (any other way would have sounded funny :biggrin: ) in my collection at all
    I would have taken these in a heartbeat, well done and WTG!!
  15. drueter


    Apr 24, 2005
    Southeast Texas
    Nice capture, Bob! I've seen the Pileated around here on several occasions but never close enough to get any kind of shot. It's certainly a beautiful bird and it sure can make a lot of noise as well as a big mess from all the flying wood chips.
  16. Thanks Ben and Don. Ben, I don't think these get to the southwest, including California. It may sound like heresy, but there are some good things that California doesn't have to offer.:wink: Don, you're right about the mess -- when one of these gets to working on a tree, there's not much left except chips.
  17. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Bob, that shot is a keeper for sure! They are not easy to capture, and shooting handheld without the help of IS or VR I think you got a good quality image. And wow, what a bird!

  18. That's a great capture of one Bob, there definitely elusive, we have them around here but never when the camera is in hand.

  19. Thanks Gordon and Martin. The photo is not the quality that you guys would produce, but I just got excited about getting a halfway clear shot.
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