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Thread started 20 Feb 2011 (Sunday) 15:58
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The Recluse Woodpecker of the North... Black-backed Woodpecker

1,279 posts
Gallery: 6 photos
Likes: 8
Joined Dec 2010
Feb 21, 2011 01:11 |  #16

excellant! I saw for the first time, and photographed a male last spring in E. Washington. All I got was ID photos. Nothing like yours. Way to go.

Jeff ­ Dyck
Senior Member
505 posts
Likes: 2
Joined Mar 2009
Location: Prince George, British Columbia
Feb 21, 2011 07:23 |  #17


I am really a bit jealous Dave! While this species is present in Northwestern Ontario, it is a bird I've been trying to photograph for some time now, without much success. Well done.

207 posts
Likes: 6
Joined Jul 2010
Location: Near Boston, Massachusetts
Feb 21, 2011 07:30 |  #18

NICE!!! I love these guys!

1DMKIV : 1DMkiii : EF 500 f4L IS : EF 300 f2.8L IS : EF 24-105 f4L IS : 100mm f2.8L IS : Flashes, Teleconverters, Ext tubes, etc. etc.

Cream of the Crop
29,368 posts
Likes: 295
Joined Nov 2004
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Feb 21, 2011 07:39 |  #19

Congrats, Dave, not only for finding him but the way in which you ID'ed from a distance and then stalked him. Excellent work and a beautiful bird.

Stan (See my gallery at​parker1 (external link))

7D, 50D, 300D, EF-S 10-22 mm, EF-S 18-55 mm kit lens, EF 24-105 L IS, EF 50 mm 1.8, Sigma 150-500mm (Bigmos)

2,977 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Feb 2008
Location: St.Louis, MO
Feb 21, 2011 09:29 |  #20

Wow! Fabulous bird and great birding from you again Dave.

Your photos are always a treat, and your field note narratives make them even better.

Congratulations on these, and thanks for another great post.


Kenn & Temple
Backyard Birders in St.Louis, MO
Canon S3-IS w/Sony DH1758 1.7x TC (external link) ; S5-IS ; SX-30; SX40; SX50; Fuji S100fs
Favorites (external link)
Blog: Backyard Birding with Kenn & Temple (external link)

Cream of the Crop
8,601 posts
Likes: 4330
Joined May 2005
Location: Rockford Illinois
Feb 21, 2011 09:37 |  #21

Awesome find Dave,a very elusive bird indeed .

A little L goes a long way.

Canon 5D4, 7D2, 7D, 40D, gripped,16-35MM 2.8L,24-105MM F4L,70-200MM 2.8 IS USM L,500MM F4L (external link)

Diamond ­ Lil
Cream of the Crop
6,495 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Jan 2009
Feb 21, 2011 09:51 |  #22

Knowledge, skill and persistence pay off well! Congratulations Dave.

Wow do I have a lot to learn! The Chosen Spot, NY
50D, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM, EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS USM, EF-S 17-85 f4-5.6 IS USM, EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM, EF 1.4X III Extender, Flight Brace (external link)

Cream of the Crop
16,468 posts
Likes: 8
Joined Sep 2007
Location: Grand Canyon Arizona
Feb 21, 2011 09:52 |  #23

That's a new one to me db. Some beautiful shots of this great looking male. What a thrill for you and us. We had about 15 inches of snow over the weekend, I stayed inside...heh..heh. I don't feed the birds anymore, but gave my neighbor all my feeders so they will be well fed though the winter. Too many problems with squirrels, chipmonks, deer, elk, ravens, cowbirds, grackles, crows and mice. The ravens are really bad here, large flocks of up to 20 hanging around destroying the feeders and keeping the little birds away. I see 3 woodpeckers at the neighbors, one of them is my little buddy. The Jays are there too.


3,195 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 55
Joined Aug 2009
Location: South Texas
Feb 21, 2011 09:58 as a reply to  @ ajosteve's post |  #24

Very Nice ! Ist time i have ever seen this species. ;)

Silverfox1 POTN Feedback / TC Extender Tests / Gear List

2,668 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 761
Joined Dec 2010
Location: Southen Arizona
Feb 21, 2011 10:07 |  #25

Great catch and thanks for conducting a master class with your note.

Is there a glitch in the EXIF data or did you really shoot at f/1.5 300mm?

Camera Maker: Canon
Camera Model: Canon EOS 7D
Image Date: 2011-02-19 01:55:44 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 300.0mm
Aperture: f/1.5
Exposure Time: 0.0063 s (1/160)
ISO equiv: 320
Exposure Bias: +0.33 EV
Metering Mode: Spot
Exposure: aperture priority (semi-auto)
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined

Democracy Dies in Darkness

Cream of the Crop
5,378 posts
Likes: 11
Joined Mar 2007
Location: Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
Feb 21, 2011 10:12 |  #26

Congrats on a great find and excellent images, Dave. Your knowledge and patience sure paid dividends. I'm very happy for you.

Residing in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
Shooting with more great Canon gear than I deserve. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
I don't need a second childhood. I'm not finished yet with the first one. :lol:​ad.php?t=764587

8,984 posts
Joined Feb 2009
Location: Arrowhead of Minnesota
Feb 21, 2011 11:09 |  #27

Jack Cooper wrote in post #11880250 (external link)
Very nice.

Thanks Jack.

Wallace River wrote in post #11880266 (external link)
Very unique and nicely shot. Love 'em!

I wish I could find him more often, but I feel fortunate to see him a couple times a year.. thank you Ian.

hTr wrote in post #11880278 (external link)
I can't Say I've ever seen one Dave, Fantastic Capture and Good Woodsmanship!!!

A true denizen of the forest, they are perhaps the most docile of the woodpeckers I have observed... thanks my friend.

kmunroe wrote in post #11880529 (external link)
nicely captured Dave

Thank you Kenny.

CDMOOSE wrote in post #11880598 (external link)
Good for you, Dave; I haven't seen one of these for a couple of years now.

I suspect you will see one soon in the bogs you have been frequenting, the tell-tale bark scrapes you described will turn one up for you... thanks Al.

Nighthound wrote in post #11880747 (external link)
Wow what an incredible find and impressive photos as well. I have not seen photos of this bird other than in books so thanks for sharing these and your write-up makes them all the better. Thanks Dave.

I always feel fortunate to discover the Black-backed and Three-toed; with these woodpeckers, it is better to be "lucky than good"... thanks for commenting Steve.

Shar824 wrote in post #11881052 (external link)
He's gorgeous lucky that your heard and found him. These are wonderful shots.

I do have one better shot I should have posted Sharon... perhaps I will do a post of the "woodpeckers of my ridge" some day and include it... thanks again.

L.J.G. wrote in post #11881082 (external link)
A great catch Dave. It sounds like you put a lot of effort into your birding so it is nice to see you reap the fruits of your labour.

The odds are, from all the hours I put in walking the forest, I come up with something semi interesting... but this episode was pretty much being in the right place at the right time ;) thanks to my chickadees... I was fortunate for the find and capture... thanks L.J.G, I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

K6AZ wrote in post #11881362 (external link)
That's a really interesting woodpecker. Nice shots of him. Looking at the range map I see it's not one for me to be on the lookout for.

Thank you!.. I find them to be very interesting to watch work... as I mentioned, they are the "blue collar" woodpecker of the northland... when they focus on their feeding and you are quiet... over the years I have watched them drill and scrape for hours... I got more tired watching than they did feeding :)

drama wrote in post #11881389 (external link)
Lovely bird, very well captured
First time I am seeing one

Lot of my birding acquaintances haven't had the good fortune to see one either... I have tried for years to find the male when my son visits... but so far no luck... thank you Drama.

BGgraphy wrote in post #11881413 (external link)
congrats Dave, great catch there, you certainly earned it, excellent shots as usual, Well done sir!

Hi Bret... thank you, I was pretty lucky to hear and find him... possibly "dumb luck" as they say here on the tundra.....:rolleyes:

Candor wrote in post #11881466 (external link)
I doubt I will ever see one of these because if I move anywhere it will likely be south so thanks for the opportunity so see it here. Great write up and shots db and congrats on such an elusive little wp.

I can't say I can argue with your "moving direction", it sounds quite "sane" to me.. this time of the year, I look longingly at the Arizona and Florida warm weather photos... except for my buddy Steve, stuck floundering in the 15 inches of snow at the Grand Canyon... perhaps "misery loves company" thanks Mike.

markmizzou wrote in post #11882409 (external link)
Great shots -- I have never seen one of these!

Thanks for commenting Mark... I hope you get the chance to see one someday.

Paul A wrote in post #11882513 (external link)
Way to go Dave, good work!

Thanks so much Paul.

7d, 50D, 400mm f/5.6, 300mm f/4, 70-200mm f/4 IS, 50mm f/1.8

1,387 posts
Likes: 26
Joined Jul 2010
Location: Sioux Lookout, On
Feb 21, 2011 13:25 |  #28

I can see why you were so pleased to come across this fellow. It's always nice to see something a bit out of the ordinary!
Excellent write up as well.

www.northwoodsphotogra​ (external link)

3,783 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 73
Joined Feb 2005
Location: Bloomington, MN
Feb 21, 2011 14:30 |  #29

Nice find and great results!

My online gallery (external link) and Live Streaming Feeder Cam (external link)
Help native birds - discourage house sparrows! (external link)
Minnesota Master Naturalist (external link) - "Explore, Teach, Conserve"

Cream of the Crop
9,671 posts
Likes: 6
Joined Mar 2006
Location: Tennessee
Feb 21, 2011 15:01 |  #30

Wow-you really know your birds! That is I will never see. Terrific find and shots!

Canon 50D, 40D, Tokina 12-24,Canon 18-55,Canon 28-135 IS, Canon 50 1.8,Canon 75-300 5.6,
Canon 200 2.8 L, Canon 400 f/5.6 L, Bogen monopod and Sunpak Tripod with manfrotto Pistol ball grip.

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The Recluse Woodpecker of the North... Black-backed Woodpecker
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