For those who follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my tweets referring to the “Blueberry Bandit” and the corresponding photos posted on TwitPic. This juvenile Pileated Woodpecker has been visiting our four blueberry bushes for two weeks now. The adult male and female visits too, but are so jumpy that I have been unable to photograph them.
The juvenile squawks loudly when it flies from tree to tree and then finally to the blueberries. This has been very convenient as I can hear it coming from a quarter of a mile away and have plenty of time to get my camera rig ready. I have tried sitting in my blind, patiently waiting for the woodpecker’s arrival, but the bird is not on any kind of schedule and the wait can get boring. Two days in a row I sat in the blind for 3 hours with no luck. But as soon as I come back to the house, here it comes!
My blind of choice, when I hear the woodpecker coming, is to lower the upper part of my bedroom window and photograph it from there. Not as close as I would like to be, but it works. The photo of the woodpecker perched on the side of a tree was a stroke of pure luck. I heard the bird coming and saw it land on a blueberry bush. I grabbed my camera and went to the window. I looked at every blueberry bush but could not find the bird. About to give up, I saw movement in my periphery and turned to see the woodpecker not 6 feet away on a maple tree. Too close for my lens, I waited until the bird moved further up the tree and then took photographs.
Enjoy these photos of the bird that I lovingly call the “Blueberry Bandit.”
Note: Some of the photos are “tall”. Hitting the f11 key before viewing full-sized photos will open your browser to its fullest top to bottom size.