Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Gila Woodpecker

This is the power pole behind our house. Unsightly as it is, it's been a joy over the years. From time to time it's been a dining room for Harris and Red-tailed Hawks and a lookout platform for an osprey. The highlight was the New Year's Day a Golden Eagle arrived and used it for hunting and dining for a week.

But usually it's main attraction is for woodpeckers. If you click on the image and look carefully, you can see one at the top. These birds are almost always welcome, except when they're trying to drill into our house or at the crack of dawn when they wake us with their battering on the metal casing of our swamp cooler, apparently "as a territorial call."

They're pretty elusive, and whenever I've gone too close to the pole (not that I could climb it) they take off. However, with my new lens and a lot of cropping I was finally able to get some usable shots of a Gila Woodpecker. I don't see any evidence of a red spot on the crown, so I assume she's a female.


T. Beth said...

That is an old pole. It looks a bit rotten, perfect for a woodpecker!

Thor said...

I have fond memories of the woodpeckers, especially going to town on the swamp cooler. Don't see them where I live now. Miss them, roadrunners, and is it the mourning dove that makes that lovely sound I accquaint with Spring in the Desert?

Pam in Tucson said...

Yes- that's the mourning dove. That lovely coo-cooing early in the morning. Saw a roadrunner in the front yard the other day, but he didn't stick around to get his portrait done.

Anonymous said...

That's the bird I heard and then saw going at it on the outside of TIHAN office building! Leslie

Pam in Tucson said...

t. beth - Hope it's not too rotten - it's holding up our power lines :)

thor - Yes, they certainly made a racket, didn't they? Esp. when we were trying to sleep in.

Leslie - Welcome to my blog! The woodpeckers make a terrible racket and their cry isn't that pretty, but they're great birds to have around.