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Second Opinion on a woodpecker


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#1 PeterJR

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:31 AM

I was walking, southern Queens NY, when I first heard, then saw this bird and only had the camera in my ipod for these pictures. It is a woodpecker, from what I saw, it had a bright red cap, and was six to eight inches long(maybe wrong I'm terrible with size). Now at this time the only woodpecker in my area is a downy but I think the amount of red is to much, this leaves either a yellow bellied sap sucker, hairy woodpecker or a Pileated woodpecker. These are all woodpeckers that have been seen in the New York City Area in the last two weeks. all but the Pileated have been seen in Queens. I think pileated by size and the fact it face does not have any black. please give your opinion any remarks would be helpful.

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#2 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:10 AM

Looks good for a male Red-bellied Woodpecker. I'd assume those would be one of the most common species in your area.

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#3 Ambird

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:11 AM

I believe this is a Red-headed Woodpecker, from what I can tell in the pic. I
Noticed the third pic is a side face shot. Definitely a red-bellied. (Goes to show I should look at all the photos before posting..)

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#4 Ambird

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:11 AM

Oops hit post too soon... Could be a red-bellied if the back is barred... but I can't make that out from this pic.

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#5 ololaiki

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:12 AM

Looks very much like Pileated to me.

#6 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:13 AM

I believe this is a Red-headed Woodpecker, from what I can tell in the pic.


Not a Red-headed. You can see it's head turned with a white cheek in the last shot and the contrasting white and black body and wings would be pretty obvious even in blurry shots like this.

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#7 Shoveler26

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:14 AM

I agree with Red Bellied Woodpecker. Pileated's are all black and larger.

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#8 Joejr14

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:14 AM

Looks very much like Pileated to me.


It's a Red-bellied.

#9 ololaiki

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:15 AM

OK, I trust you! I've never seen Red-bellied.

#10 Ambird

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:16 AM

I noticed that after the fact.... couldn't make out detail on the other pics and figured editing or something could've washed out the black and white.

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#11 ololaiki

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:18 AM

I agree with Red Bellied Woodpecker. Pileated's are all black and larger.


Well, it's difficult to judge the size and the back of this one looks black to me. But as I said I've never seen a Red-bellied.

#12 Wren

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:57 AM

I have seen a LOT of Red-bellied, but I can NOT see any of the white barring on the back that would be expected. It does NOT look Pileated, so I think red-bellied is the only other bird that will show this much red on the head. Maybe the barring is just hidden in the white-balance/ exposure of the photo.

#13 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:45 AM

I'm 100% sure this is a Red-bellied. The barring isn't visible because there isn't enough resolution to see such fine detail in a photo from this distance.

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#14 ololaiki

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:47 AM

OK, I'm not trying to convince anybody. Just to show you why this bird looks Pileated to me.

Males show a lot of red on the head:

Posted Image

Posted Image

And the back can look very light in the... well direct light. While the tail looks black. That is a female:

Posted Image

I just can imagine that if my picture were taken with the iPad it would look very much like the picture of the topic starter.

#15 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:50 AM

I'd be surprised to see a Pileated on a power pole, too. They aren't seen as often in urban or suburban regions in the east, while Red-bellies are the ubiquitous backyard woodpecker.

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#16 Ambird

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:54 AM

Yeah, I see Pileateds periodically in my housing development, but to be fair, our housing development is 7 miles from the nearest "urban" (and by urban I mean a town of 17k) area and surrounded by trees. I'd never seen one when I lived in a large city, whereas Red-bellieds are pretty much everywhere here.

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#17 ololaiki

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:55 AM

TheBillyPilgrim, I've looked at the pictures of a Red-bellied and I agree that in certain light the barring can't be seen and in this case the bird looks like one. I'm just saying that I don't see how this picture of the iPad quality can't be Pileated.
And again, they aren't seen at feeders often, right?

To make it clear - I do think now that the bird in question is the Red-bellied. (99% :))

#18 Phoenix Bird

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:58 AM

I get red-bellied woodpeckers at my feeder 3 feet away from my window. . This is not a red-bellied. This is a pilieated woodpecker. We get them around here as well ( not at the feeder) They are a bird that likes mature forest but it looks like your woodpecker is using the pole as a drumming post. They do this for territorial purposes and not for food. I've seen woodpeckers use mettle posts for this purpose as well anything that will magnify their sound. If you look at the pole underneath the bird you can see small holes that were probably made by them. Woodpeckers will return to the same "drumming post" all year. I am going with pilieated. Red head And black back

#19 Ambird

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:04 AM

This bird just does not seem big enough for a Pileated.

Unless Queens, NY has monster utility poles, and the poster's estimation of size being completely off... there's no way this is a Pileated.

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#20 GreatHorn

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:08 AM

No? Nobody's gonna say it? Okay, here goes.

Looks like an Ivory-billed to me ;)

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