Monday, September 6, 2010

Summary of the red headed woodpeckers.2001-2010

Special Concern


May 7th.
Have a pair nesting in a tree out back.
July 9th
Busy feeding young in the nest.
July 25th
Young are out in maple tree out front.
July 28th
Have 3 young red headed woodpeckers with mom & dad.
Aug 6th
Young are learning to peck.
Aug. 12th
young getting more independent every day now.
Sept. 4th. Last day I saw this family. They have moved on.


May 20th
2 adults arrived back today.
May through June we had the woodpeckers at the feeders.
This year we did not have any young woodpeckers here!




Seen in the Big Bay Point Marina.


May 27th
1 here at the feeders.
May 30th
1 sitting in our front maple tree.
Not much happening this year either with them. Are around though. But not here.


May 3rd.
Arrived back.
May 16th
We have 3 here this morning. Drumming and chasing each other around. A lot of commotion. Amazing displays. 2 have paired off.

May 20th
Still doing the mating ritual.
1 is coming to the feeders.
May 21st.
Still 3 birds here,2 are definitely paired off and the 3rd is still chasing around with them.
June 6th
The pair have started mating today.
July 2nd
We have 1 bird here.
July 5th
No sign of young ones yet.
July 11th
I am getting the adult here very frequently to the feeders.

Around 7pm. Looked up on the dead branch above the garage. 1 red headed baby here. Adult feeding it. Within a few min. Adult flew and baby followed. Then we heard a ruckus out back. Other adult and 2 more babies.
We have 3 young fledgling red headed woodpeckers here.

August 12th
Baby day today.
Pileated,common nighthawks flying over and our red headed family.
Family here feeding pm.
Adults feeding the young.
12:30 am Heard a screech owl out front.
Young starting to eat on it's own now. Still being fed as well though.
Out on the road we had 100 plus monarch butterflies all over the road in front of the house and up & down the street.

Whole family here feeding.Young really coming along.
My red bellied showed up today at the same time as red headed. Red headed got very upset and took after the red bellied woodpecker. It was a battle in the air. The red bellied left. Red headed was very dominant.
I have our family here and another bird has shown up as well. It is tagging along with the family.
1 adult up the street. A young one showed up at the feeder this aft. Not feeding here as much last few days.
1 young here
1st time in 2 days I'm hearing the red headed woodpeckers.

Very late as a rule they are gone by now. Have 1 adult here.
1 young red headed feeding at the house.


May 5th
1 adult back today.
May 9th
2nd adult back now.
Here daily during the month of may.


Am hearing the red headed's up the street calling.
1 at the feeder here often.

June 22nd.
I think they are feeding nestlings now.
1 adult here a lot.

July 5th
Feeding a lot now but no sign of wee one's yet.

Again around 7pm I heard a high pitch squeaking in the same branch above the garage. 1 young red headed being fed. Young have arrived!
Other parent arrived with other 2 fledglings. We have a confirmed 3 young again this year.

Feeding daily.

Although still being fed,1 young is starting to feed on it's own as well now.
Whole family here today at the feeders.

1 adult up the street.
Young one here around 6:30 at feeder.
1 young one here.
Sept 4th
1 adult and 1 young here.


May 10th
1 adult back.
May 11th
We have 2 adults back.
Reported to MNR's Natural Herritage Site
17 T 0618083
UTM 491 7521

MAy 17th
Pair is all over the place calling and chasing. We have a 3rd one here now.

May 27th
3 still here. Other one I believe to be one of last years young. Parents are tolerating it.

June 5th
3rd one comes to feeders and flies off in the marina direction now.
Other 2 are still calling and chasing.
July 11th
Possibly feeding nestlings.
July 14th
Both parents feeding at feeders at the same time at 7:45 pm. Have 3 peanut feeders out this year.
July 19th
3 adults here.
July 25th
Red headed adults are drumming & calling all over the place. Around the house,up the street. Have seen 3 but am hearing 4.
I thought I heard the high pitch of the young as well.
Later in the day both parents at feeder again at the same time. Packing their bills full and flying off. Are feeding young.
July 26th
This morning seems very busy at the feeder. Red headeds are actually waiting for the feeder.
July 27th
Parents chasing and calling again.
July 28th
1 fledgling at the feeder at 7:30 pm. It was trying to feed on it's own. Having a heck of a time but finally did get a taste and was licking it's bill. Thoroughly enjoyed it's taste of peanuts. So cute. It seems 7:30 is a prime time to bring in the young for the first time!!
3 adults chasing again. 2 young one's trying to keep up. 1 went into a tree and seemed to be playing with an acorn.
Parents seem to be leaving the young for a while now.
Young are happy in the trees and keeping themselves amused.
2pm. young started getting quite vocal. 2:07 parents arrived and fed.
5pm. adult brought 1 young one to the feeder.

both young going to feeders with parents now.
Flying around chattering. Here mostly in the morning and afternoon now. 3-4 being prime time.
Both young here at the feeder together.
Whole family heard around the point but did not see them at the house.

Hearing around the point again. Here for a short while in the afternoon.
Sept. 18th
LAST DAY HEARD. Have moved on.


Male back
APRIL 29th
Female back.
Both joined up immediately and were bonded right away.
May 5th
Male actually digging out a nest cavity already.
A 3rd adult showed up . More chasing and vocalizing.

At feeders daily.

May 11th
Both in a wooded area up the street. 1st hole was rejected by female and male is digging out another one one the other side of the same tree. Female is staying very close while he is excavating. By days end he was right inside.
May 17th
Pair at feeders daily.
Female going right into the nest now. Male close by.
They flew into the wooded area and returned. Both went inside the nest.
They then came outside and sat. They then mated outside the nest cavity.
They then mated again and the male chased everything away.
May 18th
Female in & out of nest today.
They mated again.
Went into the woods and came back and mated a second time.

May 19th
1st egg laid according to my records.
Female now inside the nest. She only leave when her mate relieves her. Then she sits outside and preens. Seems to be scratching a lot too.
She will sometimes go off for a few min while the male sits on the egg.

12-14 day incubation by both parent birds.

May 30th
A 3rd adult has showed up again.
Feeds at the feeders and goes off towards the marina area.

May 28th
All eggs should be laid by now. Always one bird inside.

June 2nd
Both parents inside the nest.

June 4th
Behaving different now.
Always one adult in the nest. Feeding a lot.
Back & forth with food frequently.
I believe 1 nestling has hatched.

June 7th
Rainy cool day.
Male went in and his tail was sticking out. Then took off again.
Feeding young in the nest.
At the peanut feeder frequently through the day now.

N44 12159
W 079 30540

Elevation 8203ft

June 12th
Can hear the babies crying for food now. Sounds like 3 maybe 4.I notice now the adult male has a scar on his head.
Right side behind his eye.

June 16th
Watched the nest from 9 am - 10 am today and no parents. Babies crying. Starlings at the tree.
Starlings kept peeping inside and nestlings jumped at them mouths agape.
I was very concerned for the young ones.
Parent bird arrived.
Starlings were chased off.
I think because the nestlings were so feisty and hungry that made it difficult for the starlings.
Young nestlings went right after the starlings with mouths open wide.
Starlings always backed off.
After that parents fed every 15 min.

June 26th
1 nestling pooped it's head out of the hole briefly.

June 27th
1 nestling pooped it's head out this morning and looked all around.
Parents feeding a lot now.
Peanuts,green caterpillars,dragonflies.
Parents perch on the outside of the nest now and feed through the hole.
2 nestlings seen now.
Growing very fast.
Parents looking tired.

June 28th
1 nestling out and checking everything including me out.
Other young are jumping at parents for food.
Another bought with the starlings.
Young going right at it for food and made it back off. When the nestlings realized that was not mom or dad
they backed off and went inside and were quiet.
But each time the starling peeped inside. They charged at it for food.
Parent arrived and the starling quickly retreated.
Parent very vocal when it came back.
Thunderstorm arriving.
1 nestling had it's head and shoulders right out of the nest hole.
Very active and antsy.
Another nestling is literally launching itself at the parent when food arrives.
Parents feed heavily before the storm. All is quiet then.

Jume 30th
Parents feeding every few min's now.
Spiders,moths,etc. Food getting bigger and more plentiful.
The oldest nestling sits very quietly after it's fill and watches me licking it's bill after it's tasty meal. Parent finally get a short break.

July 1st
Older nestling is half out of the hole now while other fledglings are bouncing around inside.
Getting well fed.

July 4th
Nestling in & out of the hole this morning up to its' mid body.
Chattering away now instead of the high pitch squeaking.
I can see it's feet hanging onto the entrance.
Almost fell out a couple of times.
It walked around the tree. Peeking into the hole a couple times. It walked up & down a bit then flew into the woods. We could here it calling.
Last couple days the parents have not been at the feeder as much.

July 6th
Nest appears to be empty.

I here a chattering out by the garage,same dead branch.
Adult with 1 fledgling in the trees.
Young seems to be getting bugs from the bark on it's own while waiting for the parent to return with food.
It flew to a wire. Mom came to it with food and it almost fell upside down.
Loosing it's balance. It hung there while Mom looked on as if to say. What are we going to do now!!
Was quite funny to see the dilemma.
Baby finally flew to the tree and Mom followed it to feed it there.
Both young here for feeding now.

July 11th
1 young here at the feeder with adult and the other waiting in the trees for food. High pitch squeaking always gives them away.

July 14th
Baby at the birdbath this morning. Never see them go there. And never have seen it since for that matter. Parent joined it for a drink and a rest. Photo's taken.
July 15th
We have 5 red headed woodpeckers here. Chattering,chasing,drumming and vocalizing. I am guessing the young are learning from this adventure.
1 sits in the trees while the other one joins in the fun and games.
July 17th
!st day I have actually seen the 2nd fledgling.
Until today I was hearing it but had not seen it.
July 20th
1 young is obviously smaller than the other one. Squeaking while the other is chattering. But doing well.
Have not had the 3rd adult in a couple days now.
July 1st
Today we had red bellied and red headed here together. Red headed has always chased off red bellied. But have put more feeders out this year and it has paid off.
Seem to be getting along.
1st young seems to almost be feeding on it's own.
2nd is being fed all the time still.
July 22nd
Heard calling, not 10 ft. from me as I was watering the garden was the young red headed at the feeder.
Both parents were close by with other young.
THEN a 3rd young one showed up and flew to the other 2.
My calculations were right. They had 3.
This last one follows Mom everywhere. And is squeaking,and being fed.
The reuniting of the 3 siblings was really something.
July 27th
Family is here daily.
1 young is feeding all on it's own now.
July 31st.
All feeding independently now. But youngest still being fed on the side.
The oldest I call Chatterbox.
He chatters all the time and seems ticked off at the world.
His chattering attracted a female hummingbird and a couple of young orioles today.
It was really something.
Probably curious to his actions.
He just never stops.
He chatters and bobs his head up & down. Very cute!

August. 24th
2 of the young here bright and early. Chatterbox doing his usual and they seem to be displaying to each other.
Have not seen 3rd fledgling since Aug.16th. It is out there with it's Mom.
I can tell Mom & Dad apart by Dad's scar on his head.

Chatterbox here with Dad.
Other young still at feeder but is still being fed too.
Sept 3rd
2 young with Dad and going to feeders on their own.

Arrived early,migrated early.


May 12th
Both male and female arrived together.
Went right to nest cavity in tree out back by our pond area. Red bellied worked hard on that nest but starling cased them out.
May 15th
A lot of drumming going on at the nest cavity here.
1 feeding daily.

This is not the same pair I have had here for a few years. But I think one of the young from a couple years ago.

May 27th
Was over by the marina area and heard the pair over in that area calling and chasing. They have nested in there before.
I was at Andersen's cottage.I heard them other side of the road right in marina property.
Heard the chattering in the big maple tree. Haven't seen for a while.
Here again at 8:30pm.
June 25th
Coming to feeder daily now.
June 27th
Here daily but now leaving with food. Heading towards marina area.
June 28th
Must be feeding nestlings.

July 11th
Here feeding daily and leaving with full mouths. always in same direction.
July 14th
A lot of calling up the lake but not seen here.
July 16th
6:45am at the feeders.
July 18th
Calling to each other up & down the street. No young seen yet.
July 21st
Adult here pm.
July 22nd
Heard chattering this morning and chasing this afternoon seeing them up high in the trees.
Were here later in the day at the feeders.
July 25th
Jeff saw 1 young one out back.
Then I heard the young high pitch squeaking out front to. There are 2 fledglings.
July 27th
Feeding young up in the trees.
They do not seem to want to be together at all. Sibling rivalry.
July 29th
Female has joined the male this morning. Possibly a 3rd young one. All are chattering. But 1 squeaking in the trees now. They have not come down yet.
Aug. 16th
Lynn a friend has reported seeing 1 adult and 2 young at her house over in the Guest road area. About 2-3 km up the road.
Calling up the street.
Aug 25th
Family all calling to each other in the back in the wooded area. Could see them flying from tree to tree.
Went out kayaking and could hear them all the way up to Bear Point. Still here,but not coming to the feeders at all.
HAVE NOT HEARD THE FAMILY SINCE THIS DAY. (May be the last day until they migrated on.)

As you can see we have had the red headed woodpeckers here since 2001. And I have been able to successfully follow them almost every year. I feel they are declining due to habitat loss. They are on the species at risk list. If you need to take down a dead tree. Leave a 20-30 foot stump for the woodpeckers. They are loosing their trees so quickly. And they need dead trees to survive. We can help them but not cutting trees down and preserving the forests.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Arrival on May 12th,2010.

May 12th the both red headed woodpeckers arrived together. This is the male I believe. I did not get them together. The were very flighty and did not stay around long. This was a different pair than the last few years. I believe it to be one of my original pairs siblings from 2 years ago. It was here last year but kept it's distance from it's parents when they were nesting. Although they never seemed to mind it at the feeders when they were here. This pair did not stay long and I did not get the opportunity to photograph them as I did the last pair. The original pair never did show up for whatever reason. After having them for so many years it was sad without them here this summer.
I never did see the new young red headed woodpeckers at my feeders. It seems they picked a newer territory to feed in this year. Parent was here and fed them here but they did not come in themselves.

Young with Dad.

Dad sitting in a tree across the road. While young await his return in the side trees here. Actually were together for one picture. Not a common thing.

Some tender moments.

One of the young preening in the tree.


The next series of shots are of the family feeding mostly. The young and the father looking after them.

July 27, 2010

Young being fed by parent . And the older of the two found a knot in a tree that was giving it some fluids. And yes this tree branch was on it's side. The two did not like to be to close together but I managed to get a them in this one photo. These shots are way up in the trees and the heavy shadows caused lighting problems for me.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Red Headed Family from 2009.

My son Jeff & l were able to monitor a red headed woodpecker pair here on the point.l have tried to put together some photos from last years red headed woodpecker family. l was able to monitor this pair right from their arrival to the migration south. They nested in a tree on property that l knew the owners and was able to watch the whole thing. l timed it perfectly to the end. Got one fledgling coming out. Missed the other two. But l calculated 3 young and 3 young there were. The male arrived back on April 28th last year. Very early. Female arrived on April 29th. The pair reunited immediately and got to work on the nest that same week. Female rejected first nest built. On the wrong side of the tree. But the male then built on the other side ( facing west ) And the female moved in. l caught them mating and moving in and watched the whole process. It was so amazing. l had 2 occasions that l was there that starling tried to take over. But lost the battle. Once the young were in the nest and l watched with horror. The young were thinking food had arrived and it was starlings trying to take them out. Luckily they were old enough at that point that they were quite boisterous and were almost attacking the starlings for food. Making them back away and then the parent arrived and took over. Although the photos are not in correct order as l had hoped. l got as may as l could find in here. l have so many more. And hope to continue soon to complete the sight. This year l am very disappointed. My woodpeckers arrived late here on May 12th. They were here for a week,calling,chasing,and the male drumming at a fresh nest hole made by the red bellied woodpeckers this year. Starling were to dominate and chased them off. But then they have moved on. l hear them once in a while around the point. But have not been able to positively identify were they are. The last time l heard them was on May 26th over in the Big Bay Point Resort area. They were doing the courting calls. Due to development of the marina area. l can not go in there. There have been hundreds or more trees removed from there this spring. And l have seen a huge difference in the birds. People are taking big trees down at a rate that makes me sick. And always in breeding times. We need to have laws to protect the migratory birds nesting sites. And tree removal should only be allowed during the winter months. Unless of coarse they are a threat. Dead trees taken down should always have at least 20-30 feet left for the woodpeckers. Habitat is disappearing way to fast and the birds are disappearing with it. We all knew this resort or mega resort as they call it would have a devastating effect on the wildlife. and it is proving correct. The trees are not complete yet. Come fall hundred more are gone. Habitat for birds and animals with it. It just makes us all sick!!

Young red headed woodpeckers ,August.

Playing around the post across the street made for some good finding food experiences. This post seemed to have good juicy spiders hiding in the cracks. Parents were here a lot with the little ones doing feeding exercises.
The fight was on to who got the spiders. This is the day l found out my calculations were correct in number of babies. While these two older ones were at it on the post here l heard and saw the 3rd baby over in a tree. This baby was fed much longer than these two who were on there own feeding at this point. But of coarse still wanting to be fed once in a while. Mom & Dad were kept very busy. They always come in the spring fresh and beautiful and by fall ,look a bit worse for wear.


Finally the food is transfered to the young woodpecker.
This almost looks like a wee fish in the parents beak. If you look closely it actually has a face.
Parent took this little one around the other side of the tree to a knot.
Waiting for the right moment. Parent has food.
Two young red headed woodpeckers today. They were never far from the house. PArents constantly feeding at the feeders. And getting bugs from the trees and posts on the road across the street.

July 6 through 26

Another fledgling awaiting a meal.
July 26th. Contemplating what to do!
July 26th. Walla!! It did it. All on it's own.
Now coming to the feeder on it's own. Still a little wonky on getting the food. But it's a start.
July 6th. First time at the feeder. The young one watches parent as it get the peanuts for it. Not the greatest picture as l took it through the window with a screen. But l wasn't going to miss this shot.