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at the
Cawthra Bush
    Pileated Woodpeckers have been seen that the Cawthra Bush for some years now.  Being an urban forest this is all the more interesting and getting good pictures of a Pileated Woodpecker without a telephoto len is more so.  The camera the was used by the Green Party had a limited built in one on an auto camera.  Pictures by myself did not that have that luxury.  Still the birds allowed me to sometimes get as close as 30 feet.  Blowing up the pictures with a scanner really does make the picture get too grainy but using a color copier seems to work better.  Appears to fill in the colours.

A web-site to get more details about this outstanding woodpeckers is;

    The outstanding features of this bird are, well all of them.  Its size, some 18 inches in overall length and 30 inches in wingspan.  It is the only woodpecker with a crest, a big red one, on the top of its head.  The sound of it cutting a hole right into the centre of a tree can sound like jack hammer being used or it could to drumming on a tree to proclaim its territory or even to get insects to come out of the tree.  Its wing beats are a clue as well, two beats and glides.  It cuts the largest holes in trees of all the woodpeckers.  It is these holes or cavities that many other birds and animals will nest in or use to den in.  Their work is very important to a healthy forest ecosystem. These holes can be so big they cut the tree in haft, earning it the name "Master wood-chopper".  When it comes to speeding up the process of a tree being composted, they don't get enough credit.  They eat a wide variety of food, fruit, nuts, insects and prefers carpenter ants.  They are a wetlands bird.

    This is from a letter sent to the City of Mississauga's urban forest committee (UFMAC).  "Nov. 10/01 the Leader of the Green Party of Ontario, Frank de Jong, was given a tour of the Cawthra Bush by myself.  It was a lovely autumn day and the wild life was out as if it wanted to be seen.  Not only was there two Downy Woodpeckers who were only a few feet from us, both on the same tree at times but a Pileated Woodpecker appeared to follow us through the forest.  The enclosed pictures show not just the Pileated Woodpecker seen that day, (haft up the tree), but also pictures taken Dec. 5 (at the base of a tree and on a stump), when I saw two Pileated Woodpeckers at the same time.  They appeared to be a mated pair, the male has the larger red head and more white on the throat.  It is interesting that the female was checking out a stump right beside the South Service Road."

Comments: The above picture was by the Green Party.     Below are all mine.

Comments: The Pileated Woodpecker in this picture showed me how determine they go after their food, which is often carpenter ants, deep inside stand dead trees or logs on the ground.  This log was only a couple feet off the ground but still this bird made the effort to hang upside down to peck at its underside.
Details: I understand the male has more white on its neck then the female, so going by the pictures and there being two of them very close to each other, the two in these pictures should be a breeding pair.
Or maybe one is a juvenile?  What do you think?
Same one again below.


Details:   This is the one that went after a stump right beside a sidewalk and a well used road.  The wall in the back ground is the sound wall for the Queen Elizabeth Highway.  More black on this ones throat.

Details:  Another shot.

Comments: As I was taking pictures of the one on the stump, the sound of more loud pecking could be heard behind me.
Details:  These pictures were taken in the north end of the Cawthra Bush.  An area many called a low quality woodland, too wet for a park and that it should be built in.

Comments: This is the effect that the above Pileated Woodpecker had on that log.  Below are more examples of the Master wood-chopper's work.

Comments: This log has been chipped right into its centre.
Details:   That note book is 3X5 inches.

Comments: This is a tree that it is believed Wood duck were nesting in, a section of this tree,  just above this hole, that fell last year.
Details:   The tree is right beside the Salamander breeding pond.

Comments: In case anyone doubted a Pileated Woodpecker could cut a tree in haft.  God help us if they should learn how to use chain-saws!

It will make a difference!
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