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Old Nov 11, 2009, 1:36 PM   #1
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Home today and kept seeing something fly past the window. Looked outside to find about a dozen bluebirds (??) in the yard flying all over. I grabbed my camera and snuck out the front door to get a closer shot. Of course, I scared most of them off, but these smaller birds hung around. Although, very high up in the trees.

This shot was taken with the K20 and Tamron 18-250 lens hand held. The tree is about four car lengths away and the bird is higher than the three stories of my house. Whatever distance that is.

Anyway, the shot is not great as it's mega cropped, but I wanted to confirm if this was a woodpecker. If it is, it's different than the types I've seen around here before. Went looking in the woods for the owl we heard again this morning. But, no luck. How do you attract owls?

Patty

p.s. Second image is the full size I cropped from. How do I tell how much of a crop this is?
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Old Nov 11, 2009, 3:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhmom View Post
Anyway, the shot is not great as it's mega cropped, but I wanted to confirm if this was a woodpecker. If it is, it's different than the types I've seen around here before.
Patty
It is a downy woodpecker

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&so...wny+woodpecker

Good show

Daniel, Toronto
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Old Nov 11, 2009, 3:40 PM   #3
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Hey Patty, That's a really nice shot for such a distance!
Yes, it's a Downy woodpecker and Daniel beat me to the punch.
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Old Nov 11, 2009, 5:09 PM   #4
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Nice shot Patty, your on your way to being a birder.

The owl you are hearing could be a morning dove, they sound like an owl but are more plentiful than owls. They look like a beige pigeon.

Lou
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Old Nov 12, 2009, 5:28 AM   #5
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Nice shot of the downy - by the way, that little bit of red on the head tells you it's a male downy... (the ones I posted a few days ago are of a female)

Got to agree with Lou about the Mourning Doves - I get phone calls almost every week from folks who want me to identify "those noisy owls" in their backyard, and it's almost always doves. They do have a mournful, almost owl-like song, and often sing early in the morning. On the other hand, if it is owls you are hearing, the best way to encourage them to stick around is to be sure there is sufficient habitat - perhaps some dead snags to perch on, a hollow tree to rest in, and some "weedy" places for their lunch (rodents) to hide in.

Keep up the great work on your bird photos! Looking forward to seeing more!
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Old Nov 12, 2009, 7:34 PM   #6
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Well done, nice shot, you'll be a twicher before you know it.
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Old Nov 14, 2009, 8:02 PM   #7
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I'm very glad some experts visited this thread before I did, Patty, as I would have told you I think it's hairy woodpecker. I like the shot, and I'm impressed with how nicely the shots holds together with such an extreme crop. Gotta love the resolution of the K20!
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Old Nov 14, 2009, 11:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnman View Post
I'm very glad some experts visited this thread before I did, Patty, as I would have told you I think it's hairy woodpecker. I like the shot, and I'm impressed with how nicely the shots holds together with such an extreme crop. Gotta love the resolution of the K20!
It is a tough call without being able to judge size or see more of the tail, but I am going to go out on a limb (pun intended) and go with your impression. The best two characters are bill size and whether or not there are spots or bars on the white outer tail feathers. Bill size varies somewhat in each but the Hairy has the larger bill (relative to size of the bird) on average, and has immaculate outer tail feathers. I hate to be a spoilsport, but as I see it, while the bill on this bird is not the largest, it is on the large side, and I cannot see any black marks on the edges of the tail feathers, so, pending more photos if it comes back (Patty, here is a challenge for you), I am reasonably sure it will turn out to be a Hairy Woodpecker.
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Old Nov 15, 2009, 5:37 AM   #9
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looks like a lesser spotted woodpecker to me

http://images.google.co.uk/images?hl...-8&sa=N&tab=wi

but upon looking closer think maybe is a downy - not alot of difference between them though
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Old Nov 15, 2009, 4:22 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone.

Well, according to this site http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/Abo...kerIDtable.htm it's a hairy, downy woodpecker. How's about that.

I haven't seen any birds since. We've had downpours of rain all day yesterday and today is off and on drizzle. I'll keep my eyes open though and see if I can't get a better shot.

I did discover that the woodpecker's we used to see all the time were pileated woodpeckers. Quite different in size than this one.

Regarding the owl, I'm pretty sure it's an owl and not doves. My grandparents used to have morning doves and I would recognize the call. Also, this guy hoots all night long and when we do hear him around, we don't hear as many mice or squirrels in the attic. I'm thinking that's what's attracting him to our house. Guess he wasn't around when they chewed through our TV cable in the basement. Maybe that was their way of getting back at us for having him here.

Patty
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