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This photo shows an immature woodpecker on the left and a mature male on the right. Taken near Bear Creek west of Victor, Montana USA.
Canon EOS 7D – Canon EF500mm f/4L IS USM lens on a tripod.
Manual setting, 1/160s, f/4.0, ISO: 250, 500 mm, slightly cropped.

There were six birds in the group but this only shows two. The Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus is a species of concern in Montana partly because of loss of habitat (large enough tracts of mature forests with snags for nesting). This species is one of the largest and most memorable forest birds in North America. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest. Look (and listen) for Pileated Woodpeckers hammering at dead trees and fallen logs in search of insects like carpenter ants. They excavate unique rectangular holes in the wood. The nest holes of these birds also provide crucial shelter to many species including swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens.

See another RedBubble image of these two feeding

See more photos on Merle’s SmugMug site


  • Bunny Clarke
    Bunny Clarkeover 2 years ago

    A wonderful catch and capture. :o) I would have been thrilled.

  • Thank you Bunny, I was – I just uploaded on of a parent feeding a youngster – same photo session. It was amazing, I had never seen such a thing. What a gift.

    – amontanaview

  • dgscotland
    dgscotlandover 2 years ago

    Very well caught.

    Click the banner to take you to the group. Your work is welcome here and please enjoy it.

  • Thank you so much. It was a thrill to hear them, then see them and still have time to get my camera and set it up. The family was feeding and they were hungry enough to spend some time and let me try to get photos.

    – amontanaview

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 2 years ago

    WONDERFUL capture

  • Thank you Larry!

    – amontanaview

  • GiselaSchneider
    GiselaSchneiderover 2 years ago

    wonderful capture Merle ! Thanks for posting in our group !!

  • Thank you! Another great banner. Love it.

    – amontanaview

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 2 years ago

  • Thank you Ray.

    – amontanaview

  • Magaret Meintjes
    Magaret Meintjesover 2 years ago

    1 Image per 24 hrs 2012/07/23

  • Thank you Magaret!

    – amontanaview

  • Samohsong
    Samohsongover 2 years ago

    Yes indeed Merle very nice captures! I just wish the hunters in Arkansas would take their cameras with them and get evidence of the Ivory billed woodpecker. Always love a good mystery! ~Sam

  • Sam, me too!! The Ivory billed woodpecker is the only woodpecker bigger than the Pileated. It would be wonderful to see their population come back.

    – amontanaview

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