Pileated pair at Redwood Regional


David Robinson
 

Sent this to the EBB-Discussion list by mistake:

At Redwood Regional Park this morning, between about 9:45 and 10:15, my GGAS field-trip participants and I thrilled to the sight and sound of a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers — a male and female — at and around their nest cavity (the one that a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers were reported excavating earlier this year, along the Stream Trail, just west of the Trail's End restrooms, in a leftward-leaning dead tree to the north of the trail).

Around 9ish we'd heard a Pileated calling from the hills in the distance to the south of Canyon Meadow. One of our participants quickly spotted it perched on the trunk of a deciduous tree, near the top (too far for us to see any detail except for the size and overall shape of the bird). It soon made its way west and began calling from the direction of Trail's End. When we arrived at the spot, the bird (which turned out to be a male) was perched on the dead tree, drumming just below the lip of the cavity. It then flew up into the redwoods across the trail, calling sporadically, but soon returned to the nesting tree. At one point it entered the cavity and began drumming from inside and then poking its head out and calling. After ten minutes or so a female arrived. She drummed at the bottom lip of the cavity (right where the male had first been drumming), and then entered the cavity. For the next 15 minutes or so she kept drumming from the inside, poking her head out, emerging completely a couple of times and calling, then going back in. The male joined her on the tree one more time and then flew off, and eventually she flew off, too.

We didn't hear any sounds that would indicate young in the nest cavity. Does anyone know if the pair raised young?

This was my fifth attempt to see these woodpeckers since they were reported excavating the nest cavity months ago. Up until today, I'd only ever heard them calling or drumming. What a joy to see them at last!!

David Robinson

P.S. Here's the ebird list (with a few not-great photos): https://ebird.org/checklist/S92054244
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Maureen Lahiff
 

David, I think the location of this nest hole has been widely broadcast already, but I think it is the policy of most discussion lists not to post such detailed descriptions of nest locations.

I am glad that you and your group got to see these birds and observe their behavior!  But if they are still thinking about starting a brood, perhaps a second one ( though they are rather large birds to be doing that, and it is 3rd week of July ) we want them to succeed.

Maureen


On Tuesday, July 20, 2021, 9:44 PM, David Robinson <dvdrobinson@...> wrote:

Sent this to the EBB-Discussion list by mistake:

At Redwood Regional Park this morning, between about 9:45 and 10:15, my GGAS field-trip participants and I thrilled to the sight and sound of a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers — a male and female — at and around their nest cavity (the one that a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers were reported excavating earlier this year, along the Stream Trail, just west of the Trail's End restrooms, in a leftward-leaning dead tree to the north of the trail).

Around 9ish we'd heard a Pileated calling from the hills in the distance to the south of Canyon Meadow. One of our participants quickly spotted it perched on the trunk of a deciduous tree, near the top (too far for us to see any detail except for the size and overall shape of the bird). It soon made its way west and began calling from the direction of Trail's End. When we arrived at the spot, the bird (which turned out to be a male) was perched on the dead tree, drumming just below the lip of the cavity. It then flew up into the redwoods across the trail, calling sporadically, but soon returned to the nesting tree. At one point it entered the cavity and began drumming from inside and then poking its head out and calling. After ten minutes or so a female arrived. She drummed at the bottom lip of the cavity (right where the male had first been drumming), and then entered the cavity. For the next 15 minutes or so she kept drumming from the inside, poking her head out, emerging completely a couple of times and calling, then going back in. The male joined her on the tree one more time and then flew off, and eventually she flew off, too.

We didn't hear any sounds that would indicate young in the nest cavity. Does anyone know if the pair raised young?

This was my fifth attempt to see these woodpeckers since they were reported excavating the nest cavity months ago. Up until today, I'd only ever heard them calling or drumming. What a joy to see them at last!!

David Robinson

P.S. Here's the ebird list (with a few not-great photos): https://ebird.org/checklist/S92054244
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David Robinson
 

Thanks for the reminder, Maureen.  Normally I wouldn't have posted the location, but it had indeed been widely reported, with people making regular pilgrimages to try to see it. But your caution is well taken — in future, I'll simply suggest that people contact me directly if they'd like more info.

Best,

David
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On Tue, Jul 20, 2021 at 10:40 PM Maureen Lahiff <mlahiff@...> wrote:
David, I think the location of this nest hole has been widely broadcast already, but I think it is the policy of most discussion lists not to post such detailed descriptions of nest locations.

I am glad that you and your group got to see these birds and observe their behavior!  But if they are still thinking about starting a brood, perhaps a second one ( though they are rather large birds to be doing that, and it is 3rd week of July ) we want them to succeed.

Maureen


On Tuesday, July 20, 2021, 9:44 PM, David Robinson <dvdrobinson@...> wrote:

Sent this to the EBB-Discussion list by mistake:

At Redwood Regional Park this morning, between about 9:45 and 10:15, my GGAS field-trip participants and I thrilled to the sight and sound of a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers — a male and female — at and around their nest cavity (the one that a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers were reported excavating earlier this year, along the Stream Trail, just west of the Trail's End restrooms, in a leftward-leaning dead tree to the north of the trail).

Around 9ish we'd heard a Pileated calling from the hills in the distance to the south of Canyon Meadow. One of our participants quickly spotted it perched on the trunk of a deciduous tree, near the top (too far for us to see any detail except for the size and overall shape of the bird). It soon made its way west and began calling from the direction of Trail's End. When we arrived at the spot, the bird (which turned out to be a male) was perched on the dead tree, drumming just below the lip of the cavity. It then flew up into the redwoods across the trail, calling sporadically, but soon returned to the nesting tree. At one point it entered the cavity and began drumming from inside and then poking its head out and calling. After ten minutes or so a female arrived. She drummed at the bottom lip of the cavity (right where the male had first been drumming), and then entered the cavity. For the next 15 minutes or so she kept drumming from the inside, poking her head out, emerging completely a couple of times and calling, then going back in. The male joined her on the tree one more time and then flew off, and eventually she flew off, too.

We didn't hear any sounds that would indicate young in the nest cavity. Does anyone know if the pair raised young?

This was my fifth attempt to see these woodpeckers since they were reported excavating the nest cavity months ago. Up until today, I'd only ever heard them calling or drumming. What a joy to see them at last!!

David Robinson

P.S. Here's the ebird list (with a few not-great photos): https://ebird.org/checklist/S92054244
____________________
Protect vulnerable birds, habitats, human communities, & the planet:
Join Auk the Vote! We helped pro-environment leaders win the White House & take back control of the Senate in 2020. Help us keep building an activist bird community in 2021 as we plan for the 2022 midterms!





Jim Roethe
 

I Visited Redwood Park this morning in search of the Pileated Woodpecker.   Met Peter Shen at the sight.  He had been there since about 8:30 and so I hiked a couple of miles out before returning to the site of the cavity nest.  About 9:40 a.m. on my way back I started hearing a Pileated call.    The call continued until I returned to the nest sight.  At 10:00, Peter spotted the Male Woodpecker at the entrance to the nest.  It entered and for the next 45 minutes it seemed to be deepening the cavity (we heard soft drumming inside) and then sticking its head outside the entrance hole and spitting out wood chips and feathers.

The Cornell Lab website states that during nest building Pileated Woodpeckers are known to " pick up several chips at a time in its bill and toss them from the cavity entrance."  This appears to be what this bird was doing but we clearly saw feathers along with the wood chips being expelled from the cavity so perhaps something else was going on.  If the bird was still in the process of nest building, might it be possible that we may see some chicks in the future, or is it too late in the season for that?
Also of interest, we saw several red-breasted nuthatches and a couple of creepers continually advance toward the nest cavity as if they wanted to enter -- only to be scared away when the woodpecker stuck his head out of the nest to spit out wood chips and feathers.
After 45 minutes of this, the bird flew West and eventually disappeared.
It was a fascinating morning.
 
Regards,
 
Jim
 
Jim Roethe
925-254-2190
jimroethe@...