Saturday, April 11, 2009

Camera Critters: Black-Backed Woodpecker

During the winter one of the most common type of birds that we see around are woodpeckers. One main reason that woodpeckers do not usually migrate may be because their food source is not as affected by the winter, due to the fact that it lives insulated inside of trees.
One of the more rare woodpeckers that can be found in Minnesota, at least in the northeast portion of the state, is the black-backed woodpecker.
Unlike many other types of woodpeckers that bore into dead trees in search of prey, like hairy, downy, red-bellied and others, the black backed woodpecker will actually strip the outside layers of bark off of the tree in search of the larvae of bark and wood-boring beetles.
Even though these woodpeckers do not typically migrate during the winter from time to time we get an irruption of birds that travel south out of their typical range. This may be due to less prey available in the range or an overpopulation of woodpeckers.
These pictures where taken in the Sax Zim Bog area on January 10th.

9 comments:

KB said...

Beautiful shots and informative too. Nice job.

Karen said...

Great shots of the Woodpecker and some really interesting information.

Michele said...

Beautiful pictures. I'm not much of a bird watcher or bird photographer but it's always nice to learn just in case I run into any of these little guys! Thanks for the info.

i beati said...

I learned some new things today thanks Sandy

Janie said...

Nice photos of a beautiful bird. Interesting information on them, too.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

These are great shots of yet another bird I've never seen! Does the stripping of the bark damage the trees?

I've got a photo on my CC post that I'd love your opinion on. I think it's an American woodcock, but I'm not certain. Stop by if you have time and let me know what you think.

amanda said...

I love wood peckers as long as they are going after the trees, we have one that spends all day pounding away at a no parking sign (annoying!)Great shots!

dAwN said...

Thats one woodpecker I would love to see...great shots!

Dexter's Girl said...

I think we have a pair of these in our backyard. This picture is the closest thing I have seen to them. Thank you for posting these pics! I was wondering what kind ours were and I believe you have helped me!