Monday, September 27, 2010

Pileated Woodpecker in Orono Maine

This past weekend Steve and I went to Orono, Maine to visit my cousin Heather. This was the first time I had been visit her since she moved up there about a year ago. We had perfect weather, and in between hiking and camping I managed to squeeze in just a little bit of birding!

Here are some pics from our hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain. Isn't it beautiful? Here's Heather on the way up.

Me & Heath at the top of the mountain.

Justin, Heather's boyfriend, Heath, her dog Royce & Steve.

My favorite siting from the weekend was a lifer(?) for me. The Pileated Woodpecker!

The first one I saw during our hike at Cadillac Mountain. I saw something huge flying through the trees after we startled it, and caught just glimpses of its all-dark gray body, and red crown.

When I told Heather what I saw she said not to worry- I'd be able to get a good picture of it when we got back to her apartment in Orono. She said as long as they put out suet, they'll have Pileated Woodpeckers at their feeder. Amazing!

So as soon as we got back to her apartment I was on the lookout. Sure enough I head the woodpecker pecking at a tree and then when I looked I saw its red head up at the top of a tree. All the credit goes to Steve for the above picture. These next ones I took at a much greater distance.I also saw a Hairy Woodpecker while I was watching for the Pileated. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a downy woodpecker and a hairy woodpecker. I wrote a blog post about it a couple of winters ago. The most distinguishable characteristics for me are size (the Hairy Woodpecker is bigger) and the beak (the Hairy Woodpecker has a longer beak).

Finally, on the way back to Orono from Bar Harbor we saw this flock of migrating Kildeer! We had stopped to look at a Boro camping trailer and then Heather actually spotted the birds on the lawn between the parking lot and road, and asked me what they were. I think I've only seen Kildeer once before, and to me the most distinguishable characteristic is their size, and the intricate banding/lines by their eyes.

It was such a great weekend of seeing Heather, Justin & Royce, hiking and camping in beautiful Acadia National Park, and seeing some Maine birds!


Kerri Farley said...

What a FUN day! LOVE the woodpeckers!!

meg said...

looks like a fun trip! yay for acadia! it is a must-see when you live in new england!

Unknown said...

OMG, I am beyond jealous! I must be the only person in New England that has been looking for Pileated Woodpeckers for YEARS without success!

I'm just kidding, cuz! I'm really, really happy for you!. It must have been great!

Unknown said...

This is awesome, Trash!!! Love the pictures :)

Larry said...

Congratulations on the Pileated! Steve got a great photo of it.-I hear about camping and can't wait to go camping again.

Larry said...

Acadia is such a great spot.

Jen Sanford said...

Nice! I love love love the Pileated Woodpeckers!

Birdinggirl said...

@Kerri- Thanks for stopping by! Woodpeckers are great- these Pileated ones are truly huge.

@Meg- Yes, Acadia was beautiful! I thought of you and Dave. Unfortunately we didn't make it to Thunder Hole- it was too expensive.

@Susan- Keep hoping- I'm sure you'll get to see one soon! Heather said the one I photographed stops by her apartment feeder all the time. She just has to put out suet for it.

@Trashy- Thank you for visiting my blog :) Thanks! It was a fun trip. Now if only I had the funds to plan one to Germany...

@Brownstone Larry- Yes indeed, I have to give credit where credit is due. Camping was great. We had lots of birds at our site too- I love those Brown Creepers :)

@Warblers Larry- It IS beautiful at Acadia. It was my first visit, and I will definitely go back again.

@Jen- Thanks! Aren't they cool? Getting to see one "in the wild" as well as in my cousin's yard was pretty cool. They're huge!

Unknown said...

To find a Pileated, your ears are more important than your eyes initially. They have that call sound used by their smaller cousins 'pik...pik' as it's generally described except it is deeper like a baritone compared to an 'alto' Downy.

The drumming is the same, deeper tone due to bigger beak. Once you know the sound, you know where and when to look.