View Full Version : The Red-headed Woodpecker

07-20-2011, 08:21 AM
I first noticed old red last fall while hiking in the mountains looking for photo opportunities on Grouse. To me everything about this bird was beautiful, from the majestic red head to its brilliant white wings in flight. This was a bird I had to capture for my files and it wasn’t going to be easy. For one thing they never stay in one place very long. Find what they can on the ground (preferably acorns) then back to the top of what seemed to me the tallest tree around. Since that first encounter I have learned there calls, watched a pair build a nest, stalked an area of opportunity, and spent many hours in a hot hide. Below are just a few images of the many hundreds I shot. Over the past 30 years I have taken and have on file many thousands of images of birds. The Red-headed Woodpecker has to be one of my all time favorites.

Wayne B.

smells like fish
07-20-2011, 09:24 AM
Great pic and subject matter. What lens were you using for those shots?

07-20-2011, 01:52 PM
smells like fish,Thanks for looking in and the nice comment.
These may be more information then you asked for but here goes anyway.
In the past I really liked the Tamron 200-500mm zoom because of the image quality and the price, also not that heavy to lug around. More recently I have begun to upgrade my glass with canon L series zooms (as a rank amateur Canon prime lenses are way above me in price). On the red heads I used the Canon EF 100-400mm L IS lens. While pricey the image quality is all I could ask for. Not a lens you could/would carry (very heavy) on a day trip in the hills. When possible I always use a tripod with a remote attached. Another tool I have found useful at times (but not often) is the Kenko C-AF 1.4X Teleplus Pro 300 converter. I try my best to do very little cropping and use PS sparingly, preferring the what you see is what you get idea. But as you can imagine when converting photos like the red head with image dimensions of 2240-2208 and a size of 6.11MB down to web size a lot is lost in the way of quality.
They say that every picture has a story and I believe this is very true. While visiting other photo web sites the story behind the image is almost if not more interesting then the image itself. The learning curve for all of us would be cut down considerably if only there were more folks posting photos with the story behind it here on TF.
Wayne B.

07-27-2011, 12:51 PM
Thanks for the pic or the redhead. I've been stomping the boonies of MD for decades and have never seen a redhead woodpecker. I've seen all the others - downies, hairies, red bellied, flickers and lots of pileated woodpeckers. For the past couple of winters I've had several pileated woodpeckers at a suite feed station located about 80' from my house. They come ever day. However, the pileateds have never come to the suite feeder located 10' out from the kitchen window. Guess they are a too spookish to come that close to a house.

Don Hershfeld
07-28-2011, 12:34 AM

Pileateds are not inherently afraid of houses. I see them fairly regularly outside our windows, and even on the back porch posts, but its a secluded little side valley without too many people or vehicles or other sources of disturbance. I've only seen one redhead though.