LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pileated Update

For quite some time now, we have anxiously watched and waited for our female juvenile Pileated Woodpecker (whom we call Hannah) to fly to the suet feeder. It looked promising for a while, with Hannah flying to the deck rail and sitting on the post, looking up at the suet. But she never took off toward the feeder.

Now, it seems apparent that she does not plan to eat our suet as her parents do. She regularly flies to the tree with her mother, but she makes no attempt to go for the suet. The mother is no longer feeding her, and Hannah sometimes remains on the tree long after her mother has flown into the woods.



She often clings to the tree and preens herself.


[The "yellow" in this and the next picture came from a flower on our deck. I had to shoot the flower to get the picture of Hannah. Sorry I don't have a sophisticated photo editing program.]


And sometimes she takes a look at the feeder as if she may be interested. But she no longer flies to the railing, and we have not seen her fly to the suet.


Soon we may not be able to note the difference between Hannah and her mother. She is fully as large as her mother now, and her eyes and topknotch are the only things we can use to differentiate between them. She obviously does not need our suet (neither do her parents, for that matter), but I really wish she would have a snack there now and then. At least, I hope she will continue to rest on our tree. We do so enjoy watching them.

15 comments:

Twisted Fencepost said...

Those are great shots. I don't believe I've ever seen a "Hannah" up that close before.
Give her time, maybe she's just getting up the nerve. It's a little different than hanging on a tree.

Toni said...

Oh Carolyn I can just picture you silently encouraging Hannah t go to the suet feeder. Perhaps in time she will. How exciting to watch the young ones especially this woodpecker. I have yet to see one other than many blogger pictures.

Mary said...

Carolyn, wait until Fall-Winter! She'll be there!!! Do you know I'd flat out fall over to see a Pileated at my house? Lucky you.

Sorry I've been AWOL. I love your blog and I'm trying to get back in the blogging groove. The arrival of Autumn will help me with time management. :o)

Cookies and hugs to Lucy and Ellie, please?

The Birdlady said...

I have to remember the commandment: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's female juvenile pileated woodpecker!"

Dog_geek said...

Beautiful photos, yellow and all. Hannah is gorgeous, and I'm sure that she will put the suet to good use when she needs it.

Lynne said...

Remind me again about the difference in their eyes? You are so lucky to have had the chance to watch this family. I wonder what happened to baby Huey...

Jayne said...

What a wonderful series of photos Carolyn. I love seeing the Pileateds at your house!

dguzman said...

Interesting--maybe she's just not into the suet. So cool that you get to watch her growing up.

I too must apologize for my absence. I'm trying to get back into blogging but so much else is going on. But I'm glad I made it over to see our young Hannah!

fishing guy said...

Carolyn: Why what great photos of the big woodpecker. She is a beautiful girl. Ive seen them flying but never posing.

Shellmo said...

I love your pileated woodpeckers! And love hearing their progress! I suspect when it gets a little colder - Hannah will start enjoying your suet.

Cicero Sings said...

We had a pair of Pileateds visiting our yard earlier in the year but no show the last couple of months. I do hope nothing has become of them. Over at Julie Zickefoose's blog today she talks of a hawk taking down a Pileated in her neck of the woods ... and we have hawks a plenty here.

NCmountainwoman said...

Twisted - Perhaps she will come during the winter when finding food is more difficult.

Toni - We do so enjoy watching "our" woodpeckers.

Mary - Glad to hear from you. Love your new camera.

Helen - You know? I think there is a similar verse about bluebirds.

Dog Geek - Yes, I'm counting on her visits during the winter.

Lynne - I don't know if this is universally true, but our juveniles have black beady eyes while the adults have clearly visible pupils. Click on the label to see some adults and juveniles. We have no idea what happened to Baby Huey. Perhaps the males look for new territory sooner than the females.

Jayne - Oh, we do love them as well.

Delia - Good to hear from you, but you don't owe anyone any apology. With all you have had going on?

Fishing guy - Yes, they are lovely to see, flying or sitting.

Shelley - Thanks

Cicero - I saw Julie's blog. Hard to believe the unthinkable actually happens now and then.

Kerri said...

These are such amazing shots of a wonderful bird! WOWIE!! I've had good luck with "woodpecker cakes" which are harder than suet...and it makes them "peck" more. Have you ever tried that?

Bird Girl said...

Ha-ha - Birdlady said it well, "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's female juvenile pileated woodpecker!"

I FEEL the same way - so happy for YOU and your great photography - but so darn jealous!!! Wonderful shots!

A New England Life said...

You ladies with your Pileated Woodpeckers are so lucky! What I wouldn't give to see one up that close. Maybe one day.

Love your blog! I'll be back : )