Red-headed Woodpeckers and other birds in Marquette County Wisconsin on November 7, 2015

I did some birding in Marquette County Wisconsin today. I always enjoy watching the Red-headed Woodpeckers working from sun up to sun down. They get acorns from live trees, break them up in pockets of dead trees and bury the pieces within dead trees or under bark of dead trees. They store these pieces for winter food no matter how deep the snow is, it will always be available. They always seem to store the pieces in trees near nest holes that will probably be used in spring for raising the young. I have a water hole I watch and two of the highlights today were a Brown Creeper and a Red-eyed Vireo. The Red-eyed Vireo is listed as a rare bird for this date in Marquette Co. This bird moved very fast in the couple of seconds I saw it, I just barely got a photo. I have never seen a bird drink like today. It flew across the pond, barely touched the water, opened its bill and grabbed a drink for a second and never slowing down, off it went like a bullet south. Other common birds gave nice shows which is always a treat. Images were taken on November 7, 2015.

Red-headed Woodpecker with a piece of acorn after splitting one up in the top of this dead oak tree.

Red-headed Woodpecker with a piece of acorn after splitting one up in the top of this dead oak tree, early morning sun

With acorn piece

With acorn piece

Hammering a piece of acorn into the hole of the dead tree for winter food

Hammering a piece of acorn into the hole of the dead tree for winter food

Hammering a piece of acorn into the hole of the dead tree for winter food

Hammering a piece of acorn into the hole of the dead tree for winter food

Hammering a piece of acorn into the hole of the dead tree for winter food

Putting a piece of acorn into the hole of the dead tree for winter food

Putting a piece of acorn into the hole of the dead tree for winter food

Putting a piece of acorn into the hole of the dead tree for winter food

Putting a piece of acorn into the hole of the dead tree for winter food

Just looking around after storing some winter food

Putting a piece of acorn into a crack of the dead tree for winter food

Putting a piece of acorn into a crack of the dead tree for winter food

Putting a piece of acorn into the hole of the dead tree for winter food

Going to put a piece of acorn into a crack of the dead tree for winter food

Splitting up an acorn in the pocket in the dead oak

Splitting up an acorn in the pocket in the dead oak

Splitting up an acorn in the pocket in the dead oak

Splitting up an acorn in the pocket in the dead oak

Don't need this shell of the acorn, out it goes!

Don’t need this shell of the acorn, out it goes!

With a new piece of acorn to go store it for the winter

With a new piece of acorn to go store it for the winter

Red-eyed Vireo, a RARE bird for this date in Marquette Co. WI. 11/7/15

Red-eyed Vireo, a RARE bird for this date in Marquette Co. WI. 11/7/15

Red-eyed Vireo, a RARE bird for this date in Marquette Co. WI. 11/7/15

Red-eyed Vireo, a RARE bird for this date in Marquette Co. WI. 11/7/15

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Dark-eyed Junco ready for a bath

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco bathing

Dark-eyed Junco bathing

Blue Jay calling

Blue Jay calling

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Blue Jay calling

Blue Jay calling

Black-capped Chickadee bathing

Black-capped Chickadee bathing

Black-capped Chickadee just out of the water

Black-capped Chickadee just out of the water

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Blue Jay on alert!

Blue Jay on alert!

Blue Jay looking back

Blue Jay looking back

Blue Jay posing

Blue Jay posing

 

Red-headed Woodpecker Adult and Juveniles Storing Acorns

Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker with acorn

A Red-headed Woodpecker adult and juveniles storing acorns for the winter in Marquette County, WI.  Photographs taken November 19, 2013.

Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker with acorn

Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker with acorn

Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker with acorn

Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker with acorn

Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker with acorn

Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker with acorn

Adult Red-headed Woodpecker pulling acorn from tree top

Adult Red-headed Woodpecker pulling acorn from tree top

Adult Red-headed Woodpecker after removing acorn cap by striking it

Adult Red-headed Woodpecker after removing acorn cap by striking it

Adult Red-headed Woodpecker after dodging acorn cap

Adult Red-headed Woodpecker after dodging acorn cap

Adult Red-headed Woodpecker with acorn

Adult Red-headed Woodpecker with acorn

Adult Red-headed Woodpecker with acorn piece

Adult Red-headed Woodpecker with acorn piece

Adult Red-headed Woodpecker with acorn piece

Adult Red-headed Woodpecker with acorn piece

Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker just after storing an acorn piece in tree cavity

Juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker just after storing an acorn piece in tree cavity

To see the gallery of images, please click here.

Birdwatching in Marquette County

While birdwatching in Marquette County, I was able to photograph Eastern Bluebirds, a Red-headed Woodpecker, and others on October 26, 2013. Images were taken near a small water source where birds were coming and going, bathing, preening and drinking.

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Eastern Bluebird

 

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Eastern Bluebird

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Red-headed Woodpecker, Juvenile transitioning to the red head

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Blue Jay

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Blue Jay

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Dark-eyed Junco

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Blue Jay

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Black-capped Chickadee

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Eastern Bluebird

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Eastern Bluebird

To see the gallery of images, please click here.

Red-headed Woodpecker Storing Acorns

A Red-headed Woodpecker storing acorns for the winter in Marquette County, WI.  Photographs taken October 13, 2013.

Red-Headed Woodpecker

Red-Headed Woodpecker

Red-headed Woodpecker

Binomial name: Melanerpes erythrocephalus

Category: Woodpeckers and Allies

Description: Red head with black back and white underparts.  The wings are black with white wingtips.  Adult males and females have identical plumage (sexually monomorphic).

Size: 7.5″- 9.8″ long, 16.7” wingspan

Weight: 2.0 oz. – 3.4 oz.

Habitat: Deciduous and coniferous forests, orchards, swamps, wetlands, and farmland

Diet: Insects, fruits, berries, nuts, and seeds

Nesting: Nests are built by both partners in cavities of dead trees or utility poles.  The males do most of the cavity excavation.  Females lay 3 to 10 eggs at one time, up to two broods per season.  The first brood is laid in May and incubated for 2 weeks, and hatchlings remain in the nest for 24 to 31 days.  Red-headed Woodpeckers often reuse the same nesting cavity year after year.

Notes: The Red-headed Woodpecker stores food, only one of four species in North American known to do so.  It may hide nuts, seeds, and insects.  In fact, Red-headed Woodpeckers awesome store grasshoppers still alive, stuck in tight crevices or covered with bark.  The Red-headed Woodpecker was also featured on a stamp from the United States Postal Service in 1996 and from 1999 – 2006.

Red-Headed Woodpecker with acorn piece to hide under bark

Red-Headed Woodpecker with acorn piece to hide under bark

Red-headed Woodpecker just finished breaking apart the acorn with its bill in tree limb packet

Red-headed Woodpecker just finished breaking apart the acorn with its bill in tree limb pocket

Red-headed Woodpecker just finished breaking apart the acorn with its bill in tree limb packet

Red-headed Woodpecker just finished breaking apart the acorn with its bill in tree limb pocket

Red-headed Woodpecker takes flight to a nearby tree limb to hide the acorn piece behind bark

Red-headed Woodpecker takes flight to a nearby tree limb to hide the acorn piece behind bark

Red-headed Woodpecker takes flight to a nearby tree limb to hide the acorn piece behind bark

Red-headed Woodpecker takes flight to a nearby tree limb to hide the acorn piece behind bark

Dead oak where Red-headed Woodpecker was photographed

Dead oak where Red-headed Woodpecker was photographed

Red-headed Woodpecker hiding acorn piece

Red-headed Woodpecker hiding acorn piece

Red-headed Woodpecker hiding acorn piece

Red-headed Woodpecker hiding acorn piece

Red-headed Woodpecker takes flight to a nearby tree limb to hide the acorn piece behind bark

Red-headed Woodpecker takes flight to a nearby tree limb to hide the acorn piece behind bark

For the gallery of images, please click here.

Red-headed Woodpeckers nesting and raising young in the South Kettle Moraine near Eagle Wisconsin May 2012

I came across a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers in the South Kettle Moraine near Eagle Wisconsin. It appeared they were setting their sights on a dead oak tree, a place to raise young this year. I watched this pair for almost 2 months and almost daily. I started observing them when they started cleaning out an existing hole in a dead tree. They were getting it ready for the egg laying. As days went by they started bring food to the young. As the young got older they became visible in the hole opening. One thing I’ve noticed photographing these birds was that they took the food into the nest early on. As they chicks got bigger, as they brought the food to the young, they started making the young come closer to the hole opening for it. At the end just before the young left the nest hole, they made the young almost come out of the hole for the food. I noticed too that the adults both feed the young. The adults brought in all different types of food weather it was grasshoppers, daddy long legs, berries, larvae or what ever. That way when the young  finally left the nest, they knew exactly what their diet should consist of. It was a truly amazing experience to see this all happen over a period of almost 2 months. I was there the day the young birds finally left the nest hole. I captured one flight out of the hole. Off the birds went and after that day, a big storm came through. Not sure whatever happened to the young birds that fledged the nest as I never saw them again. I did see adults after that day, maybe the adults took them off to a place on their own, not sure. Images were taken over a period from the beginning of May 2012 into the beginning of July.

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Red-headed Woodpecker

Binomial name: Melanerpes erythrocephalus

Category: Woodpeckers and Allies

Description: Red head with black back and white underparts.  The wings are black with white wingtips.  Adult males and females have identical plumage (sexually monomorphic).

Size: 7.5″- 9.8″ long, 16.7” wingspan

Weight: 2.0 oz. – 3.4 oz.

Habitat: Deciduous and coniferous forests, orchards, swamps, wetlands, and farmland

Diet: Insects, fruits, berries, nuts, and seeds

Nesting: Nests are built by both partners in cavities of dead trees or utility poles.  The males do most of the cavity excavation.  Females lay 3 to 10 eggs at one time, up to two broods per season.  The first brood is laid in May and incubated for 2 weeks, and hatchlings remain in the nest for 24 to 31 days.  Red-headed Woodpeckers often reuse the same nesting cavity year after year.

Notes: The Red-headed Woodpecker stores food, only one of four species in North American known to do so.  It may hide nuts, seeds, and insects.  In fact, Red-headed Woodpeckers awesome store grasshoppers still alive, stuck in tight crevices or covered with bark.  The Red-headed Woodpecker was also featured on a stamp from the United States Postal Service in 1996 and from 1999 – 2006.

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An adult doing some work on the nest hole

An adult doing some work on the nest hole

An adult doing some work on the nest hole

An adult doing some work on the nest hole

An adult doing some work on the nest hole

An adult doing some work on the nest hole

An adult doing some work on the nest hole

An adult doing some work on the nest hole

An adult doing some work on the nest hole

An adult doing some work on the nest hole

An adult doing some work on the nest hole

An adult doing some work on the nest hole

An adult doing some work on the nest hole

An adult doing some work on the nest hole

An adult doing some work on the nest hole

Both adults doing some work on the nest hole

Both adults doing some work on the nest hole

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

Cleaning out the nest box

Cleaning out the nest box

An adult on a near by tree bringing food to the young

An adult on a near by tree bringing food to the young

An adult leaving the nest hole, the other adult ready to bring more in

An adult leaving the nest hole, the other adult just close by

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

An adult to leave the nest hole while the other adult is ready to bring in the next food for the young

An adult to leave the nest hole while the other adult is ready to bring in the next food for the young

An adult leaving the nest hole after feeding the young

An adult leaving the nest hole after feeding the young

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

An adult leaving the nest hole after feeding the young

An adult leaving the nest hole after feeding the young

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

An adult leaving the nest hole after feeding the young

An adult leaving the nest hole after feeding the young

An adult leaving the nest hole after feeding the young

An adult leaving the nest hole after feeding the young

An adult storing some food on a nearby tree

An adult storing some food on a nearby tree

An adult storing some food on a nearby tree

An adult storing some food on a nearby tree

An adult feeding the young

An adult feeding the young

An adult leaving the nest hole after feeding the young

An adult leaving the nest hole after feeding the young

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

 An adult leaving the nest hole after feeding the young

An adult leaving the nest hole after feeding the young

An adult just before leaving the nest after bringing food to the young

An adult just before leaving the nest after bringing food to the young

An adult just before landing at the nest hole with food for the young

An adult just before landing at the nest hole with food for the young

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

An adult just before landing at the nest hole with food for the young

An adult just before landing at the nest hole with food for the young

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

On going adults bring food to the young, different types of food, insects, berries, etc.

An adult just before landing at the nest hole with food for the young

An adult just before landing at the nest hole with food for the young

An adult off in a distance from the nest. This happens sometimes as they prepare the food before bringing it into the nest hole to eat. It may be compacted some what of whatever the bird does at this time in preparation

An adult off in a distance from the nest. This happens sometimes as they prepare the food before bringing it into the nest hole to eat. It may be compacted some what of whatever the bird does at this time in preparation

A young Red-headed Woodpecker sticks its head out of the nest hole waiting for an adult to bring in food

A young Red-headed Woodpecker sticks its head out of the nest hole waiting for an adult to bring in the next food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food

Adult bringing food to the young. As I noted, the adults draw the young closer to the nest hole opening till they are just about out of the hole to get the food. This bird is showing some for the red on the back of the head already

a young Red-headed Woodpecker with a berry in its bill

a young Red-headed Woodpecker with a berry in its bill

A young Red-headed Woodpecker sticks its head out of the nest hole waiting for an adult to bring in the next food

A young Red-headed Woodpecker sticks its head out of the nest hole waiting for an adult to bring in the next food

The maiden flight for this young Red-headed Woodpecker leaving the nest. It was one of 2 birds that left the nest that day

The maiden flight for this young Red-headed Woodpecker leaving the nest. It was one of 2 birds that left the nest that day

Young Red-headed Woodpecker off in a distance in some near by oaks after it left the nest. Already eating something here

Young Red-headed Woodpecker off in a distance in some near by oaks after it left the nest. Already eating something here