Friday, January 30, 2015

Bushel of Wodpeckers

Wednesday morning when I was in the photoblind I was excited to hear the call waka, wak, waka echo by. It is the call of the Acorn Woodpecker. Hearing that call I finished off the morning by creating a set up using some feeders and and a small oak trunk that I knew they would feel comfortable using. When I arrived at the blind on Thursday morning I could see them using it as I approached the photoblind. I spent the next couple of mornings photographing them. Surprisingly a group of Acorn Woodpeckers is called a bushel. Who thinks up these things? Acorn woodpeckers are very unique in that they are a communal bird with all the members of the group collecting food in the form of acorns and storing them in central locations usually a tree called a granary. They will either put it into a cavity or excavate tiny holes in the trunk and force hundreds of acorns into place. Their breeding behavior is equally amazing and complex, with all the breeding males and females combining efforts to raise the young. They are quite unusual among wood peckers in that they live this way as groups rather than living as pairs or solitary birds. Visually they are quite striking and are one beautiful bird. some people have nicknamed them clown birds. I just think they are pretty cool. I ended up with a lot of images. This one is my favorite because it emphasizes there communal living structure. God's love and blessings to all,chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens at 220mm. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 400,F5.6 at 1/400th of a sec. The camera was supported by a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 ballhead.

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