The American Three-toed Woodpecker that had been reported in Burnett County was found at the location that was reported. A very rare bird for the state of Wisconsin, and what I read is viewed by few people because the location of it’s habitat. Chris W, Daryl C and I made the trip up leaving very early Wednesday morning getting there shortly after light. Deb P met up with us there and joined the group. It was a gloomy morning with low winds, just a few inches of snow on the ground with temps mild in the low 20’s, and balmy. This bird came into the area reported a few times for nice viewing. When the bird came into viewing, it worked different trees continually pecking non stop, at the tree it landed on. It moved to a few different trees on occasion continually pecking and as I remember not even stopping to look in the direction we were. With the continued action of the feeding bird, higher more than low in the heavily twigged trees, just to get a couple of photos was a challenge. After the short time of viewing the American Three-toed Woodpecker, we traveled north and east of that area looking for boreal species in boreal habitats for the rest of the day. What a beautiful part of the state! A couple of the highlights were 2 adult American Bald Eagles working a deer carcass near a roadside and a flock of 300 plus Pine Siskins. We saw many flocks of Common Redpolls too working the roadsides high and low for seeds. No Hoary Redpolls to be found. Many thanks to Jim H, a local birder for finding this exciting bird and getting the report out for others to enjoy. I have also just now received information in a email of a person that knows someone that had viewed this species 2 miles from where it is currently being seen in 2013. I am waiting to hear back from the contact person on any other information on this event. When you see a report like Jim’s, one always has to wonder how many rare birds could be out there that are missed. A life bird for me and a state life bird for the others! It was just a full day of excitement getting out and spending the day birding with some great birders and friends. I did take a couple so-so images to share, you just have to take what you can get with conditions given. Images were taken on December 10, 2014.
American Three-toed Woodpecker
Binomial name: Picoides dorsalis
Category: Woodpeckers and Allies
Size: 8.75″ long, 15” wingspan
Weight: 2.3 oz
Habitat: They prefer boreal forests with mature or old growth larch, pine, fir and spruce. They can also be found in areas flooded, logged or burned with dead trees that have large infestations of boring beetles or insect outbreak.
Diet: Bark beetles larvae and boring beetles. Other insects are also eaten along with various fruits.
Nesting: A nest cavity is excavated by both adults in a dead tree or limb. Both adults incubate the eggs for an average of 13 days and young part from the nest on an average of 24 days.
Cool fact: A bird that is not seen by most people because of boreal habitat it typically lives in.