Monday, July 5, 2010

Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)

We made a second trip to Wilkes County, Georgia, to check out a couple of wildflowers we had seen on our previous trip. Afterwards, we went on up to the Broad River Wildlife Management Area – on the south side of the river. We were looking mainly for wildflowers and dragonflies. Much of the area had been clear-cut some time ago and replanted with pines. But these hadn’t grown far; the area had many wildflowers and several species of wildflowers.

As we were driving out, a flash or red, white and black passed us. It was interesting because the bird - Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) – landed in a tree beside the road ahead of us and flushed another smaller woodpecker. Both must have been startled because they flew off in different directions. We lost sight of the small woodpecker but…

The Red-headed Woodpecker landed on the top of a snag about one-quarter mile away. I managed one photo before it flew off into the forest on the other side of the clearcut.

A cropped photo shows the bird in surprising detail given the distance it had flown. It is a beautiful bird.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

The Cornell Institute of Ornithology - All About Birds: Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)


Anonymous said...

what an amazing bird. good catch!

JSK said...

Thank you - but let's call it a lucky catch. I was amazed that it was in focus at that distance since I was using 'face recognition' rather than manual focusing.