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on Feb 2, 2021 in Wildlife Photography

“Pilested … Wdoeker tree”

Pileated Woodpecker captured by D6 / 180-400VR

Everyone who knows my beautiful bride knows just how impeccable she is with her grammar. So yesterday morning when I was sitting at my desk while she was out with Maggie and a text appeared on my phone from her, “Pilested … Wdoeker tree”, I knew she was excited. That’s because she was there twenty feet away watching our first Pileated Woodpecker that had landed on the woodpecker perch and was feeding. She said she could hear me running through the house and saw a flash (I guarantee not from my speed) of me going by with camera in hand. It was ten months in the making and I wanted to record the landing.

We have seen Pileateds fly overhead but they have never stopped on any trees on The Ranch. I have “planted” two dead trees on The Ranch just for them. One is the Woodpecker Perch that has a suet feeder and a much larger diameter snag I’m hoping a woodpecker, a Pileated, will use it for a nest. With the text, I grabbed the D6 / 180-400VR (which is always on my counter ready to shoot) and ran to the garage which has the perfect angle for the Woodpecker Perch. As I pointed the lens through the window, I was struck at the total luck that the light at this moment in time was perfect, perfect for the black / white / red, crow size woodpecker. I took a couple of horrible photos through the window just in case. I then walked over to the door and slowly opened it. It didn’t budge and twenty minutes later, 341 images were on the card. It was a great Monday for photographing a “Pilested … Wdoeker tree”.

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