Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pic of the Day

Pileated Woodpecker: Horse Cove; Gurley, Alabama – One day in March I was driving-up my driveway and notice a hole in a dead loblolly pine that I had never seen before. My first thought, ”a freshly dug pileated woodpecker nest”! As soon as I got in the house I grabbed a video camera and headed for the possible nest. I attached the camera to a nearby tree and pointed it toward the hole and turned the camera on. I left the video running until after sundown, about an hour and half, and then retrieved the camera and tape.
As I reviewed the tape I was hoping to see a pileated woodpecker fly into, or leave the opening. As the tape played, what I hoped I would see, occurred. Just as the sunset, a Pileated Woodpecker flew to the cavity, perched at the opening for less than a minute and went into the cavity.
I could not have been more fortunate! The nest tree grew out of a creek bed at the bottom of a steep slop, allowing me to put a blind close to the nest at almost eye level. Both adults incubated eggs for the first 3 weeks in April. After the eggs hatched a flurry of active began at the nest. I spent many hot, miserable days in a blind from the end of April through May having an incredibly wonderful time photographing these birds.
Nikon D200, Nikkor 500mm f/4 with 1.4 teleconverter

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