Monday, February 1, 2010

Pale-billed Woodpecker at Cavity - Video

Originally posted 12/16/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


I recently came across this video clip of superb quality.   Posted by Naturalidades, it shows a male Pale-billed Woodpecker working on a cavity in the Guanacaste Conservation Area of Costa Rica.  Press play, then change the setting at the lower right of the video box from 360p to 480p to watch it at higher resolution.

It's worth turning the volume up at your end to hear the bill tapping as it works.  The bird pauses every few seconds to keep as close an eye on its surroundings as possible. 

Pale-billed Woodpecker in Costa Rica

Originally posted 5/17/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


Costa Rica, originally uploaded by L. Kay.
This photo of a male Pale-billed Woodpecker is @ L. Kay and posted here with permission. The bird is depicted here with sharp detail and in excellent color. The photo was taken at the Villa Lapas Lodge in Costa Rica.

Thanks to L. Kay and to all of the contributors to this blog for sharing their wonderful photography here!

Pale-billed Woodpecker Alighting on Tree in Costa Rica

Originally posted 5/2/13 - backdated to organize posts by topic.
Untitled by mistercakes
Untitled, a photo by mistercakes on Flickr.
Here is a male Pale-billed Woodpecker coming in for a landing in a uniquely interesting and dynamic photo that mistercakes took at Hacienda Beru in Costa Rica. It is posted here with permission.

Talking with a Pale-billed Woodpecker

Originally posted 5/15/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Back in November of last year, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (CLO) released this fascinating 10+ minute video entitled Talking with a Pale-billed Woodpecker. One of several excellent bird videos by CLO, it is available in 1080p HD (you may need to adjust your settings to see it in HD) and takes you on a hike through a Costa Rican rain forest in search of the Pale-billed Woodpecker. Researchers Martjan Lammertink and Chris Saker utilized a wooden box especially designed to simulate the double-knock sound that Pale-billed Woodpeckers and other members of the Campephilus genus use as a communication signal.

Watch how the bird rewards their efforts to draw it closer to them using the double-knocker by flying into the area and then doing its own series of double-knocks in response to what it has heard. It's also quite nice to be able to watch a male Pale-billed Woodpecker emerge from its roost in the beautiful forest in Costa Rica at dawn (all in HD video, so great viewed at full screen size), without having to get up that early!
 

Pale-billed Woodpecker Preening

Originally posted 8/1/12 - backdated to organize posts by topic.
Watch a female Pale-billed Woodpecker preen herself and do a series of four double raps in this 55 sec video shot by Greg Baker in Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica.

Pale-billed Woodpecker in Early Morning

Originally posted 5/15/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Here's a very nice photo of a Pale-billed Woodpecker @ Scott Olmstead and posted here with permission. You can see more of his wonderful photography at this link.  He writes:

This bird, the female, had just emerged from her nest cavity in a rotten trunk.
La Selva Biological Station, Heredia, Costa Rica. March 18, 2010. Digiscoped with a
Canon Powershot A590 IS through a Swarovski ATS 65 HD with a 20-60x eyepiece
and the Swarovski DCA Zoom.

You can hear a Pale-billed Woodpecker doing its diagnostic double knock - two powerful taps in quick succession - here:

Pale-billed Woodpecker

Originally posted 4/7/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


Pale-billed Woodpecker, originally uploaded by Podoces.
Here is a nice photo of a male Pale-billed Woodpecker to follow up on my last post of a photo of a female bird of the same species. The male's entire head is red. This photo is © Matt Brady (aka Podoces) and posted here with his permission.

You can hear a Pale-billed Woodpecker's signature double knock, recorded March 3, 2010
here at this link at Xeno-Canto.

Pale-billed Woodpecker

Originally posted 4/5/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.



loud, adorable redhead

Photo © thislittlelightofmine

Here's a stunning photograph of a Pale-billed Woodpecker.  We can tell it's a female bird because the center of its crown and its forecrown are black.   The photo is posted here with permission from thislittlelightofmine on Flickr.  She described her experience with this bird as follows:

This Pale-billed Woodpecker entertained me daily while I was in Mexico.
There were many noisy confrontations with squirrels, and guess who didn't budge!
The fiery redhead with attitude reigned supreme.

Pale-billed Woodpecker at Nest Cavity


Here's a recently posted 2 minute video of a female Pale-billed Woodpecker at her nest cavity in Honduras, followed by her mate.  It provides us with a great look at the black forecrown and black center of the crown, features that distinguish this bird from the male whose entire head is red.  Check out the huge beetle larva she's got in her bill at 45 secs. into the clip!  After that, her handsome mate arrives with another larva to do his part in raising their young.

I favor the Neotropical Bird site's profile of the Pale-billed Woodpecker, and here is a link to the Life History page with details on the bird's diet, etc.:



Pale-billed Woodpecker on Tree Trunk

Originally posted 6/4/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


Pale billed Woodpecker, originally uploaded by tamandu.
Here is an excellent photo of a male Pale-billed Woodpecker © tamandu and posted here with permission.

Woodpeckers within the Campephilus genus display morphology that is well-adapted to dealing with the challenges involved with large birds clinging to vertical surfaces.  This photo provides a great illustration of the typical Campephilus posture that is detailed in the book Woodpeckers of North America by Frances Backhouse, ( a personal favorite of mine).  Here is a brief excerpt of those details:

Campephilus woodpeckers unfold their legs and extend them sideways, as if hugging the tree...The advantage of the Campephilus posture becomes evident if you think about a mountain climber on a narrow ledge. Her most secure stance is with arms outstretched to the sides and her body close to the cliff - essentially the [Campephilus] woodpecker pose.

Megapic de Guatemala, the Pale-billed Woodpecker

Originally posted 9/24/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.



Megapic de Guatemala, the Pale-billed Woodpecker, receives excellent treatment in this hand-colored lithograph by Delahaye in Alfred Malherbe's Monographie des picidées (1859-1862).  The two female birds show some black on their crown and forehead.  The others are all male birds.  Seeing all those pale-bills together reminds me that this bird has also been referred to as the Guatemalan Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

The Pale-billed Woodpecker ranges from Mexico to western Panama.  I noticed that the Internet Bird Collection now includes maps that show where contributed photos, sound and video were captured for individual bird species. As a nice example, check out the map in the entry on the Pale-billed Woodpecker at this link.

This image within the public domain appears here courtesy of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Request for Photos for a New Book

Originally posted 4/02/11 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Pale-billed Woodpecker, originally uploaded by Dick Tipton.

Gerard Gorman has put out a call for submissions of top-class photos of woodpeckers from anyone who would like to be involved in a new book provisionally entitled Woodpeckers of the World: a photographic guide. if interested, please visit his Woodpeckers of the World blog and view submission details on the upper left sidebar.


The photo you see above is of a juvenile Pale-billed Woodpecker. It's extraordinary because it's rare to find photos of young birds in this genus. Dick Tipton took this photo at the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in Southern Mexico on Feb 10, 2008.

Paie-billed Woodpecker in Mexico

Originally posted 2/19/11 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

pale-billed woodpecker, originally uploaded by qmnonic.

This photo of a male Pale-billed Woodpecker was taken by Matt MacGillivray in a forest south of Manzanillo, Mexico and is posted here under Creative Commons license. It's got good bokeh!

Pale-billed Woodpecker



          * Recorded 20 February 2007
          * Location Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Stann Creek District, Belize
          * Duration 1 min 2 sec

A male Pale-billed Woodpecker looking for prey in the small hole of a trunk.

Pale-billed Woodpecker, female

Originally posted 6/6/11 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Pale-billed Woodpecker by Bird Brian

Pale-billed Woodpecker, a photo by Bird Brian on Flickr.
The black forecrown and center crown of this Pale-billed Woodpecker are distinctive features of females of this species. Photo posted here under Creative Commons license.

Pale-billed Woodpecker


Pale-billed Woodpecker, originally uploaded by Maciek StL.
And here is photo of a Pale-billed Woodpecker.  This bird is a male since its head is completely red.  Creative Commons licensed photo.

Pale-billed Woodpecker in Costa Rica

Originally posted 5/8/11 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


Here's a nice view of a Pale-billed Woodpecker in Costa Rica, in a photo © LPJC and posted here with permission. Apparently, it's a female given that bit of black that's visible on the bird's crown.

You can find a detailed species account for the Pale-billed Woodpecker here:

Pale-billed Woodpeckers in Costa Rica

 Originally posted 4/24/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

This week, there's a very interesting story over at Picus blog about Pale-billed Woodpeckers. in Costa Rica.  It's accompanied by excellent photos and begins as follows:

That evening before dinner, I had one of the most amazing moments in my birding experience...

Pale-billed Woodpecker



Pale-billed Woodpecker, originally uploaded by Jorge Montejo.

Here's a photo of a handsome male Pale-billed Woodpecker.  Creative commons licensed photo.

Pale-billed Woodpecker

  • Recorded 20 February 2007
  • Location Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Stann Creek District, Belize
  • Duration 1 min 2 sec 
  A male Pale-billed Woodpecker engaged in scaling chunks of bark off a tree trunk, rather like the scaling behavior that's described in the foraging of its famous relative, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

Pale-billed Woodpecker


  • Recorded 13 April 2009
  • Location Lacanjá-Chansayab, Chiapas State, Mexico (Southern).
  • Duration 17 secs
A male Pale-billed Woodpecker on a trunk, looking around and then flying away.  This video represents quite closely how we observed another male bird in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest, in Belize.

Pale-billed Woodpecker


IMG_167 Pale-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus guatemalensis), La Selva, Costa Rica ., originally uploaded by Lathers.

Many thanks to Lathers on Flickr for granting permission to post his photo of a male Pale-billed Woodpecker here. 

Pale-billed Woodpecker


BZ10_C50D_1136a, originally uploaded by jerryoldenettel.
Here's another photo of a female Pale-billed Woodpecker. The sex of this bird is indicated by the black forecrown and black center crown amidst brilliant red feathers. I'm always amazed when I see Campephilus woodpeckers out in the open, in such a stark setting, when I consider the dense bottomland forest that their northern relative, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker has called home!

Creative Commons licensed photo taken in Belize.

Pale-billed Woodpecker


Belize - Pale-billed Woodpecker, originally uploaded by billy3001.
To me, the stare of this bird reminds me of the intense wonder that I felt at the first glimpse I ever had of a live Campephilus woodpecker, in the Mountain Ridge Pine forest in Belize.

Pale-billed Woodpecker


Belize - Pale-billed Woodpecker, originally uploaded by billy3001.
The light caught his ivory bill, reminding me that this bird is sometimes referred to as the Guatemalan Ivory-billed Woodpecker. I took this photo back in December, 2005 before I had upgraded to a digital SLR camera.  My Canon Powershot S1 IS did more than a decent job capturing this bird for me 25 feet high in the forest canopy!  Pale-billed Woodpecker, Mountain Pine Ridge forest, Belize.

Pale-billed Woodpecker - Looking Regal


Belize - Pale-billed Woodpecker, originally uploaded by billy3001.
Male Pale-billed Woodpecker, Mountain Pine Ridge forest, Belize.

Pale-billed Woodpecker


Belize - Pale-billed Woodpecker, originally uploaded by billy3001.
I'm not sure whether the bird noticed us. He certainly seemed absorbed in foraging up near the treetops. Pale-billed Woodpecker, Mountain Pine Ridge forest, Belize.

Pale-billed Woodpecker


Belize - Pale-billed Woodpecker, originally uploaded by billy3001.
This photo of a male Pale-billed Woodpecker represents my first look at a species. I heard it, then saw it in the Mountain Pine Ridge forest in Belize.

Pale-billed Woodpecker


woodpecker, originally uploaded by brettocop.
This photo of a female Pale-billed Woodpecker was taken in Carara National Park in Costa Rica. The park site says that:  Birdwatchers are interested in the Carara National Park area because it presents two life zones and a variety of birds, including one of the largest remaining wild populations of Scarlet Macaw in Costa Rica.   You can read more here.

You can tell this bird is a female because it has black in the center of its crown and forecrown in contrast to the entirely bright red head of the male. For an extensive profile of the Pale-billed Woodpecker ->  You can visit Neotropical Birds here.

Thanks to brettocop for this Creative Commons licensed photo.
PZKVJ5Y87CV5

Pale-billed Woodpecker Foraging on Dead Palm

Originally posted 4/15/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.



In this video, a male Pale-billed Woodpecker forages on a dead palm.  More and more video is being shot and posted in high-definition, and that is exciting when you think about what's to come in future days.  Watching this video in full-screen mode makes me feel like I am right there with the bird!

Alexander Grimwade captured this video at the Crystal Paradise Resort near the Macal River in the Cayo District of Belize.

I can't say enough good things about Belize to anyone who wants to experience not luxury, but a wonderful time in a place with only 1 or 2 good highways, extensive forests, magnificent Mayan ruins, mysterious caves, the second largest barrier reef in the world and a diverse array of wildlife.  Actun Tunichil Muknal is a cave with 1,000 year old Mayan remains in it that is only accessible with a guide.  It's amazing.  One weekday at the Mayan archealogical site of Caracol, we were the only ones there after a small group left the place.  It's huge, and its renowned for it's AD 562 defeat in war against the now even more famous Mayan site of Tikal in Guatemala.

I saw my first Pale-billed Woodpecker at the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest in that same Cayo District of Belize.  

You can see more of Belize at the link below. Beware of the big, hairy spider!

My Belize photos

Pale-billed Woodpecker in Mexico

Originally posted 7/6/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.


Pale-billed Woodpecker, originally uploaded by sweeneyfit.
This male Pale-billed Woodpecker in Oaxaca, Mexico looks intently focused upon its next target in this photo © sweeneyfit and posted here with his permission.

Here's a fine recording of the Pale-billed Woodpecker's loud, sputtering rattle:

Pale-billed Woodpecker in Guatemala

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

I like this somewhat dreamy photograph © by Scott A. McNealy of a Pale-billed Woodpecker in Guatemala, posted here with his kind permission. It's got great bokeh! Scott has his own site that you can visit here:

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