Uncommon Sighting: A Purple-cockaded Woodpecker

September 29, 2022

| Purple-cockaded Woodpecker by means of Chuck Gehringer |

It’s no longer ceaselessly that FeederWatch members document endangered species of their yard. This previous August, long-time FeederWatcher Chuck Gehringer noticed a Purple-cockaded Woodpecker at his house in Pinehurst, North Carolina. 

Those small birds are known by means of a black-and-white striped again, a white cheek, and, on men, a tiny, just about invisible pink streak (“cockade”) on the higher border of the cheek. Gehringer’s id was once helped by means of earlier revel in with the species–he had noticed Purple-cockaded Woodpeckers at Fred C. Babcock/Cecil M. Webb Natural world Control space in Florida and at Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Keep in North Carolina. 

The Purple-cockaded Woodpecker is a habitat specialist of the Southeast’s once-vast longleaf pine stands. This previous pine habitat with little or no understory was once formed by means of the area’s widespread lightning fires. Those woodpeckers will even inhabit stands of loblolly, slash, and different pine species. The species declined vastly as logging destroyed its most popular habitat. Whilst as soon as not unusual, Companions in Flight estimates there are as few as 19,000 folks left. Be told extra about Purple-cockaded Woodpeckers at the Cornell Lab’s All About Birds site.

Gehringer instructed us that he heard the woodpecker earlier than he noticed it, announcing, “I heard it pecking on a tree in entrance of me. It then flew to a close-by pine tree and persevered pecking. I used to be in a position to take a couple of deficient footage of it because of the wet climate that day.” Thankfully, the woodpecker returned, and Gehringer was once in a position to get a higher picture, which he later uploaded to FeederWatch’s Player Pictures Gallery Gehringer has noticed the woodpecker a couple of extra instances since then, even recognizing 3 folks visiting his suet feeder in overdue August.

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The Purple-cockaded Woodpeckers visiting Gehringer’s feeders are banded, as can also be noticed within the picture. Fowl banding, which comes to striking a steel band and once in a while colourful plastic bands round birds legs (in addition to amassing knowledge in regards to the birds), can lend a hand scientists differentiate between folks of a species, in addition to find out about birds’ age, levels, and extra. Fowl banding within the U.S. is regulated by means of america Geological Survey, and they have got a site you’ll be able to use to document banded birds. It is still noticed whether or not those non-migratory woodpeckers will stick round in Gehringer’s backyard for the approaching 2022-23 FeederWatch season, however due to the bands, Gehringer must have the ability to inform if the similar folks go back, or if other Purple-cockaded Woodpeckers seem.

Individuals are welcome to proportion footage of birds, FeederWatch depend websites,or folks looking at birds by means of importing footage to our Player Pictures Gallery web page, situated below the Group tab at the Challenge FeederWatch website. 

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