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Friday, January 25, 2013

Bookend Species of the Woodpeckers

[Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Florida. January 2013]

Of all our woodpeckers, the Downy is the tich of the family while the Pileated is the giant (assuming the Ivory-billed and the Imperial woodpeckers remain extinct). The Downy is only 7" in length while the Pileated is almost 3 times as large at a massive 20".
The Downy is named for the texture of the feathers between bill and forehead (finer in the downy; coarser in the Hairy).

The Pileated (pile-e-ated) instead is named for the prominent pointy tuft of red on its head -- resembling a Pileus (pile-e-us), or Roman felt cap, which it resembles.

Both individuals of the two species photographed at Corkscrew are males as evidenced by the red hindcrown patch on the Downy and the red mustache stripe on the Pileated.
This Pileated is a female (no mustache) and the solid garnet eye indicates that this is a juvenal unlike the adults which have a yellow iris.
Elsewhere in the Swamp, a wintering indigo bunting is found among the more numerous painteds.
And a quick walk in the parking lot results in an encounter with some warblers and a thrasher.
The always charismatic Prairie Warbler:
And, the black-and-white:
..the photography of which is the ultimate exercise in testing one's reflexes as it moves about hurriedly in its foraging routine.

And finally, the thrasher:

GPS tag in Pileated Woodpecker jpeg: Woodpecker Location
GPS tag in Prairie Warbler jpeg: Warbler Location

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