Sunday, January 31, 2010

Powerful Woodpecker - Tapichalaca, Ecuador

Originally posted 9/26/11 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

This image of a male Powerful Woodpecker displays its feature very well. It has a black bill, face black with white stripe, and a red crown. Females lack any red, having entire forehead to hindneck black. Endemic to northwestern South America, this species favors an especially beautiful environment - wet montane and cloud forest, often on steep slopes, at elevations of 4,000 to 12,000 feet in the Andes mountains.

Reference: Short, L. L. 1982:432-433. Woodpeckers of the World. Delaware Museum of Natural History, Greenville, Delaware.

Photo posted here under Creative Commons license.

Powerful Woodpecker - Up Close!

Originally posted 5/14/11 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Powerful Woodpecker, originally uploaded by telembi.

Enjoy this fantastic close-up photo of a female Powerful Woodpecker taken in Colombia by Juan Carlos L. This bird lives in the Andes mountains, from Central Colombia to Peru.  Notice the "v" shape the white lines make on the back, a pattern shared by several members of the genus.  Male birds have a red forehead and crest.  The photo is posted here with permission.

Hear the call of the Powerful Woodpecker here:

Powerful Woodpeckers


  • Recorded 2 November 2008
  • Location Bellavista Lodge, Tandayapa Valley, Pichincha Province, Ecuador
  • Duration 28 sec
A pair in a tree, then the male hammering on the trunk.

Mégapic de Gray, the Powerful Woodpecker

Originally posted 6/17/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


The illustration above is Plate V. from Alfred Mahlerbe's Monographie des Picidées. It depicts a family group consisting of a male Powerful Woodpecker in left, foreground, a female in the background and a male juvenile bird.


Here is a nice sample of this bird's commonest call, pee-yáw, pee-yáw!:


Like several others in the Campephilus genus, the Powerful Woodpecker utilizes a loud double rap for signaling purposes. Here's an example:


And finally, here is an excerpt listing various names for the Powerful Woodpecker from the 1868 publication entitled List of the Specimens of Birds in the Collection of the British Museum by George Robert Gray, creator of the Campephilus genus, et al.  It is available here at Google books. 


The bird image above is within the public domain and it appears here courtesy of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Powerful Woodpecker


  • Recorded 1 February 2008
  • Location Tandayapa Lodge, Tandayapa Valley, Pichincha Province, Ecuador (ssp pollens).
  • Duration 30 secs
A female clinging to a trunk at dusk.   Watch her blink!

Powerful Woodpecker


powerful woodpecker, originally uploaded by jj birder.
Many thanks to John Jackson (jj birder) on Flickr for sharing this striking photo of a male Powerful Woodpecker here. The photo is posted here with his permission.

Nesting Biology of the Powerful Woodpecker

Photo by J. Simbaña

The Powerful Woodpecker was named long ago, in 1845 by Charles Lucien Bonaparte, a French naturalist and ornithologist who was the nephew of famed Emperor Napoleon.

These 165 years later, very little is known about the breeding biology of this bird, an uncommon resident of montane regions from Venezuela to Peru (according to the article cited herein). The remarkable photos you see here are two of several within an article entitled First description of the eggs and nestlings of Powerful Woodpecker (Campephilus pollens) by Harold F. Greeney, Jose Simbaña & Lucia A. Salazar-V., and published February 26, 2010 in Boletín SAO in which the authors state:

Here we present the first observations, from north-eastern Ecuador, 
on the eggs and nestlings of this poorly known species.

The full-text article, including its amazing photos, is freely available online under Creative Commons license.  The two photos here were taken by J. Simbaña and are posted here with permission.


Photo by J. Simbaña

Powerful Woodpecker Climbing Up Tree Trunk

Originally posted 6/2/13 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


Here is a fantastic, high quality video of a male Powerful Woodpecker climbing up a tree trunk. The video was captured by Wim ten Have in Carpish Pass, Huánuco Department, Peru on October 29, 2012.

Powerful Woodpecker

Many thanks to Joel N. Rosenthal for granting permission to post this photo of a female Powerful Woodpecker.

Powerful Woodpecker


Powerful Woodpecker, originally uploaded by Jim Scarff.
An excellent photograph of a male Powerful Woodpecker, posted with thanks to Jim Scharff of Flickr.

Powerful Woodpecker


powerful woodpecker, originally uploaded by WLA.

Many thanks to WLA on Flickr for sharing this photo of a juvenile male Powerful Woodpecker, who also offers this interesting info:

"The bird in question was a pet in an indigenous village. Its pretty young and the sole survivor of a brood of three birds."

This photo displays the classic arrangement of toes in Campephilus woodpeckers.  It is not the zygodactly arrangement typical of so many other woodpeckers, of two pairs of toes arranged opposite each other, pointing top and bottom.  Rather, the third toe of the bird is elongated and extended horizontally to brace the large bird against a tree trunk, as a person on a very narrow cliff face might extend each arm to brace him or herself against the cliff.


Consider this when you see in illustrations of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers and other Campephilus species because the illustrators too often go with the incorrect zygodactyl toe arrangement that's typical of many other woodpeckers, but not those in the Campephilus genus.

Powerful Woodpecker

Many thanks to Diego Calderon of http://www.colombiabirding.com for sharing his photo of a female Powerful Woodpecker taken in Guasca, E. Andes with us. The photo is used here with his permission.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Red-necked Woodpecker

Photos of the beautiful Red-necked Woodpecker are few and far between.

This photo of a male bird is © palmchat with thanks for sharing it here. Another person commented that this bird looks like an Ivory-billed Woodpecker, wearing a disguise!  It's no wonder.  There are only a few large woodpeckers that possess a striking ivory bill like the one you see on this bird.

This photo was taken at Allpahuayo-Mishana Reserve in Peru.

Read more about the reserve here.

Red-necked Woodpecker Video

Originally posted 10/27/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


I like this video of a male Red-necked Woodpecker by baco1970 for a couple of reasons.  First, it gives us a close up view of the bird's brilliant red head and neck with its spot of black and white on the lower ear coverts, its striking yellow eye and its large, pale bill.  Second, the video lasts for just 9 or 10 seconds which seems to me like all the time one might very well have to see this beautiful bird during a venture into the Amazon rain forest.

Press play, then change the setting at the lower right of the video box from  360p to 480p to watch it at higher resolution.

Red-necked and Crimson-crested Woodpeckers, Together!

Originally posted 12/20/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

I was amazed when I discovered this photo because I do not recall ever seeing two species of Campephilus woodpeckers on the same tree, in the same photo!   The bird on the left is a female Red-necked Woodpecker.  The bird on the right is a male Crimson-crested Woodpecker.   This great image is posted here by permission of Michel Giraud-Audine.  He took this photo in Kourou, Cayenne in French Guiana. 

Pica-pau-de-barriga-vermelha - Macho

Originally posted 8/31/13 - backdated to organize posts by topic.
Here is the rather handsome Red-necked Woodpecker that also goes by the name Pica-pau-de-barriga-vermelha. The scientific name for this subspecies is Campephilus rubricollis olallae. A bird of the Amazon rain forest and nearby environs, this is a male. This photo was taken by Cláudio Dias Timm and is posted here under Creative Commons License.

Here's an excerpt from the Red-necked Woodpecker species account that I authored which appears at Neotropical Birds Online:

C.r. olallae south of the Amazon, from Madeira River to Pará and Maranhão in Brazil and south to Cochabamba in Bolivia. Intermediate in size between the other two species. Resembles trachelopyrus, but brighter in red and rufous colors.

Red-necked Woodpecker


Red-necked Woodpecker, originally uploaded by keir randall.
Photo © keir randall on Flickr and many thanks to him for granting permission to post it here. He took this photo of a male Red-necked Woodpecker in Shanklands, Essiquibo River, Guyana. The Red-necked Woodpecker is the least seldom photographed Campephilus, as far as I can tell, along with the Crimson-bellied Woodpecker. After a few days, I'll back-date and move this one and the Imperial Woodpecker photo below to their respective species areas. For now, each one is highlighted here on the home page.

Two Red-necked Woodpeckers

Originally posted 4/24/11 - backdated to organize posts by topic

 This video is very brief but extraordinary because it shows both a male Red-necked Woodpecker on the left, and a female (presumably his mate) on the right.  It's unusual to see both sexes in one clip.  You'll notice how the female varies from the male, mainly by having a black-bordered, broad buff line extending from the base of the bill to its lower ear coverts. This video by marmoset was captured in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas in Brazil.

View the Red-necked Woodpecker's range here.

Hear the Red-necked Woodpecker's call here:


Hear young birds begging here:


Hear the bird doing double-knocks here:

Datel červenočerný / Red-necked Woodpeckers by Jan Dungel

Originally posted 7/5/2011 - backdated to organize posts by topic.
Illustrations © Jan Dungel

I have been painting wild animals in their natural habitats of South American tropics since 1992. All the drawings were made upon the closest encounters with these animals. Many of them I meet repeatedly at the same spot and thus I have been knowing them”personally” for several years.....

I've long admired this beautiful illustration of a pair of Red-necked Woodpeckers that you can find with an ample array of work by Jan Dungel, a Czech painter, graphic artist and illustrator at:   


The artist sent me a few words about his experience with these birds, and woodpeckers in general, in the Amazon Rain Forest as follows:

Woodpeckers are surprisingly common birds throughout the whole Amazonia. They are very similar to their allies in the temperate zone in their manners and habits, usually noisy and conspicuous – in fact one of the most visible rainforest birds of all. I meet them daily both in the lower part of the forest as well as in the dense canopy. There are many species, some are small (Veniliornis and Piculus sp) the others large (Campephilus sp).

I observed and painted this pair of Red-necked Woodpeckers (Campephilus rubricollis) flying from one tree trunk to another in the upper Orinoco in Venezuela some six years ago. The red-necked "carpintero" is very distinct among the rainforest woodpeckers for its uniformly red belly, unmistakable while the other large woodpeckers of the same [and another] genus are very similar in their black and red coloration and quite difficult to determine especially when foraging high in the trees.
..............................
The Campo Flickers depicted above typically inhabit open and semi-open habitat, like savannas and pampas, in South America.

Red-necked Woodpecker - A Pair of Males


Photo © by Arthur Grosset and thanks to him for granting permission to post this photo of two male Red-necked Woodpeckers Arthur Grossest's site is here.

Red-necked Woodpecker


Photo © by Arthur Grosset and thanks to him for granting permission to post this photo of a male Red-necked Woodpecker.  Arthur Grossest's site is here.

Red-necked Woodpecker in Ecuador

Originally posted 10/22/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


Red-necked Woodpecker, originally uploaded by rowbird2005.

A leafy green and white make for an attractive background in this photo of a male Red-necked Woodpecker in Ecuador.   This bird is one of the less seldom photographed members of the Camp. genus, so special thanks to Forrest Rowland for granting permission to post his photo here. 

In this recording from xeno-canto, you can hear the bird's loud call, wing sounds and some tapping:






The Red-necked Woodpecker is another species within the genus that does double raps, or double "knocks." In this recording, you can hear a series of loud, crisp double raps accompanied by some other fantastic jungle fauna sounds.




Red-necked Woodpecker Foraging


  • Recorded 24 August 2007
  • Location Shiripuno River, Pastaza Province, Ecuador (ssp rubricollis)
  • Duration 57 sec
A female Red-necked Woodpecker in a tree pecking on a thick branch and feeding.

Album de aves amazonicas (1900)


Album de aves amazonicas by Emil August Göldi was published in 1900.  The book, including its many wonderful colored plates, is available for free download in various formats from the Biodiversity Hermitage Library at Internet Archive.  In this print, a pair of Red-necked Woodpeckers appears in the upper right corner, with the female bird in the foreground.  The large woodpecker in the middle resembles a female Crimson-crested Woodpecker, but is identified as a Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus) in the text.  Public domain image, courtesy of Internet Archive.

Red-necked Woodpecker


red-necked woodpecker, originally uploaded by pixienicki.
Many thanks to pixienicki on Flickr for sharing her photo of a male Red-necked Woodpecker here. She took it near the Rio Tambopata in Peru. The photo is posted here with her permission.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Robust Woodpecker in Brazil

Originally posted 7/27/13 - backdated to organize posts by topic. 
 
Here is a portrait of a Robust Woodpecker in Piraju-SP Brazil. The detail and colors in this photo are fantastic! So is the lighting. I'm guessing this bird is a juvenile female because we can see the striking facial pattern developing - namely - the  pale stripe outlined in black that extends from the base of the bill to behind and below the eye. Photo posted here under Creative Commons license.

Pica-pau-rei - Robust Woodpecker

Originally posted 10/10/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


Campephilus robustus, originally uploaded by jquental.
Check out the great detail and excellent lighting in this photo of a male Robust Woodpecker by Joao Quental. He took this photo at Parque Nacional do Itatiaia in Brasil.

You can find Joao Quental's site here:


Many thanks for permission to post this photo here!

Pica-Pau-Rei - Robust Woodpecker

Originally posted 6/23/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.



Taking a short break from Campephilus illustrations, enjoy this stunning photo of a female Robust Woodpecker that is © Takao Takayama and posted here with permission. The female bird has a rather striking facial pattern that includes a whitish moustachial stripe bordered with black above and blackish chin.  A fantastic photo!

Occasionally, I come across photos of the Robust Woodpecker that were taken at Iguazu Falls.  It's one of South America's most popular tourist destinations, located on the border of Brazil and Argentina, so if you visit, please be on the lookout for this impressive woodpecker!

Robust Woodpecker Feeding Its Young

Originally posted 12/28/11 - backdated to organize posts by topic. 


This video of a female Robust Woodpecker, Pica-pau-rei, feeding its nestling is remarkable for its quality. You can adjust settings at your end to watch the video in 720p HD. It's interesting to see how it takes a while for the adult bird to transfer the beetle grub to the young bird. This is one of many excellent videos and photos that can be found at Fotografias da Natureza, a site by Jorge Kutsmi where he shares beautiful imagery that he has captured in the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. 

Below is an introduction from Jorge Kutsmi's site (translated into English using Google) along with a link to his site.


Birds of the Atlantic Forest
Most people do not have the opportunity to be in touch with nature and see that there are still gems to survive despite the ravages and neglect by which, directly or indirectly we are all responsible. This reality, the idea of ​​recording a short drive by the Atlantic Forest, to observe their birds, captured by the lens of a camera. Admire them here while they live there in the forest free, perpetual colors, sounds and movements: the nobility of photography!

And here is the intriguing story of this video:

Martjan Lammertink said...
A remarkable thing about this video is that the cavity seems extremely shallow and that the chick seems to be sitting horizontally on the bottom while it is being fed. Typically, Campephilus nest holes (and those of most other woodpeckers) are quite deep. When the chicks are near fledging, they receive food in the nest entrance but in a different posture than what is seen in the video. I e-mailed the film maker Jorge Kutsmi to ask if there was a special circumstance that made the chick end up in this odd, apparent emergency situation of a cavity, and indeed Jorge wrote back to me with the following:

“The explanation I got was that the nest was originally in the same tree (an embaúba tree in an advanced stage of decay). A rain storm with strong gusts of wind broke the tree exactly where the original nest cavity was. The person who took care of the land found the broken tree and two young woodpeckers, one dead and another alive and all wet. Because the parents were around he put the chick in another cavity in the part of the same tree that was still standing and they started to feed him. It is even possible the hole in the video was made by the person who rescued the chick, I never met him and did not hear more details of the event”.
 

Pica-pau-rei - Macho

Originally posted 2/22/11 - backdated to organize posts by topic.
Enjoy this fine photo of a male Robust Woodpecker with his red crest feathers extended! The photo was taken by Cláudio Timm in Santa Catarina, Brazil.  It's posted here under Creative Commons license.

Robust Woodpecker Video

Originally posted 2/7/11 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


This video shows a male Robust Woodpecker on a snag in Parque Nacional Iguazú in Argentina.  Turn your volume up to hear this bird do two double knocks, a signal these woodpeckers use to keep in close touch with each other.

This video is posted here courtesy of:

Robust Woodpecker with a Lineated Woodpecker

Originally posted 4/4/13 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Here is an interesting photo out of the Atlantic Forest in Argentina by field researcher Dr. Martjan Lammertink. It features a male Robust Woodpecker, a member of the Campephilus genus, at the cavity entrance, along with a male Lineated Woodpecker, a member of the Dryocopus genus, outside on the tree trunk. The Lineated Woodpecker is often confused with another member of the Campephilus genus, the Crimson-crested Woodpecker, both of which are very wide-ranging species. I could sure imagine the Robust Woodpecker saying something like "Hey, move along buddy!" to this fellow woodpecker! To see more photos by Martjan Lammertink, visit:


Incidentally, this photo reminds me of the time I observed four species of woodpeckers all visiting the pear tree in my family's backyard at the same time one fine autumn day in Queens, NYC. Those four species, representing four different genera, were Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Sure wish I had a photo of all of them as fine as this one!

A Robust Woodpecker, Resting

Originally posted 6/26/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


In this video clip, a female Robust Woodpecker is captured in a very chilled-out moment.  Check out that large, white bill! Change video settings to 480p for highest resolution.

Robust Woodpeckers


  • Recorded 4 January 2007
  • Location Misiones, Argentina
  • Duration 50 sec
A pair of Robust Woodpeckers at dusk, hanging around the crown of a tree, to later go inside their nesting hole.

Pica-pau-rei (Campephilus robustus) - Macho

Originally posted 5/2/12 - backdated to organize posts by topic. 

Here is quite the handsome male Robust Woodpecker photographed by Cláudio Timm and posted here under Creative Commons license.

Robust Woodpecker in Flight

Originally posted 11/2/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

It's rare to find a photo of any Campephilus woodpecker flying, so I am grateful to have permission from Fábio Manfredini to post his photo of a male Robust Woodpecker in flight. He took the photo in the beautiful Atlantic forest of Parque Estadual Carlos Botelho in Brazil.  With its wings extended, you can see the many pale chestnut spots across this bird's flight feathers that are not visible when the wings are folded.

Robust Woodpecker


  • Recorded 30 June 2004
  • Location Fazenda Intervales, Intervales State Park, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Duration 32 sec
A female Robust Woodpecker in a tree, producing several times the double knock typical of the genus.

Robust Woodpecker


Robust Woodpecker, originally uploaded by MattSullivan.
Photo © Matt Sullivan and many thanks to him for granting permission to post this photo of a male Robust Woodpecker.

Robust Woodpecker

Photo © by Arthur Grosset and thanks to him for granting permission to post this photo of a female Robust Woodpecker.  Arthur Grossest's site is here.

Robust Woodpecker

Photo © Sandman in Dubai on Flickr and many thanks to him for granting permission to post this photo of a female Robust Woodpecker.

Robust Woodpecker

Photo © Sandman in Dubai on Flickr and many thanks to him for granting permission to post this photo of a female Robust Woodpecker.

A Foraging Robust Woodpecker

Originally posted 4/14/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


Many thanks to willi377 for posting this video on YouTube.

A friend of mine recently made me aware of this video of a foraging female Robust Woodpecker obtained at Iguazú National Park in Argentina.  It's interesting to watch this bird scaling substantial amounts of bark off the tree trunk.

Robust Woodpecker



IMG_5982, originally uploaded by AlexeyN.

Photo © AlexeyN from Flickr and many thanks to him for granting permission to post this photo of a female Robust Woodpecker. He described the photo as follows:

This Robust Woodpecker was very busy knocking the wood. in fact, the speed it was swinging it's head was so high, I had a hard time freezing the motion.

Robust Woodpecker


Campephilus robustus, originally uploaded by claudinodebarba.
Photo © claudinodebarba and many thanks to him for permission to post his photo of a female Robust Woodpecker here.

Mégapic Robuste, the Robust Woodpecker

Originally posted 7/1/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Here is an illustration of the Robust Woodpecker from Alfred Malherbe's Monographie des Picidées.  It is a hand-colored lithograph that is almost 150 years old, so I'm sure that you will pardon the slight discoloration in the crests of these two birds.  The male is on the left, and the female bird is on the right.  This is a detail from Plate III in Malherbe's work, with the full plate to follow in my next post.

The image above is within the public domain and it appears here courtesy of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Welcome!

I like birds, especially woodpeckers and MOST especially the huge Campephilus woodpeckers.  Four years ago I started a photo group on Flickr called Ivory-billed Woodpeckers and Others in the Campephilus Genus by posting a few photos that I took of a Pale-billed Woodpecker in Belize.

The illustrious Ivory-billed Woodpecker is a member of the genus.  There are many others too, with far smaller claims to fame, with words like Cream-backed, Crimson-crested, Magellanic, Powerful, and Robust in names that suit their unique brilliance.  Our group recently surpassed 1,000 photos contributed by many individuals - a real milestone!

Now this site becomes another way to celebrate these birds.

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