Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pileated Woodpeckers - The Ecosystem Engineers

It took me few days to collection some of the footage you are going to watch in this short video. But first I have to apologize for not completing this video sooner. So many of you sent me kind messages and comments and told me how much they like my post titled "Happy Mother's Day". The truth is that making a video to convey an important message is harder than photographing these wild feathers. I did not want to just copy and paste a youtube video made by others to show you "this is pileated woodpecker", or upload my raw video and tell you "hey, look! they are cute, this and that ..." This simply is not me or my style of cinematography.

Woodpeckers are habitat specialists. When their habitat is threatened due to deforestation and human activity, they will be suffering from extinction, like Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Pileates rely on a mature forest to breed and forage mainly on insects such as carpenter ants, termites and woodboring beetle larvae. Since they don't reuse their nests, old cavities become important nesting sites for other song birds. I always believe each of us come to this world with a purpose. If a woodpecker, like Pileates, can be beneficial to the well being of many other birds, we too can help those who are less fortunate than us.

I have seen many different nests but I have never witnessed a large woodpecker like the Pileates and get this close to them. Two days after filming, a friend told me she went to the nest and they were all gone. This woodpecker family of six (watch video closely and you will know why :) ) might stop by your backyard one day. When next time you are hiking or birding in a park, listen to their calls and I hope you find them! If you like this post, share with your Facebook or twitter audience and feel free to drop me a line or two so I know how to make WingsSpirit a better place. Happy Birding and see you at field trip soon! -- Linda

View all past videos from Simogh Studio  here.

The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Birdlife International
Woodpecker of North America


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  1. Very well put together Mrs Freedombird !

  2. Thanks Trevor :) Hopefully I see them again soon!

  3. very nice video, I saw one today (Blk Mtn, NC) while I was outside transplanting aloe plants - I believe it was a female, not sure 'cause I didn't get a good look at the front of the face but was a sight to see - I usually see some around the corner in the springtime (about 1/2 acre of woods between side streets, lots of dead wood mixed in with different type trees & a ravine runoff from Flat Creek) but with high winds last week, most of the dead trees fell but I'm not worried, there are many more to be had!

  4. Thanks Kim! Glad you see one! I normally hear them first and follow their calls, I can easily see them!


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