Pileated Woodpeckers, Ravens, and More - UPDATE January 17, 2019

A mod emailed that a female Pileated Woodpecker had worked on the Honey tree for about 25 minutes this afternoon at the Bear Center. Piliated woodpeckerPiliated woodpecker at NABCShe sent two pictures she captured before a second Pileated Woodpecker arrived and they both flew off. The woodpeckers reminded them and me of this video of a family of Pileateds fledging from a nest close to the WRI cabin back in 2006. In this video, a parent stopped by to feed one of them, and the big nestlings seemed to want to join her. The juvenile to the right in the video had its crest raised the most and was to the first to follow her. The others followed shortly.


A UK Pond Chatter saw the video and asked: "Would there be room in there for the young to test their wings,exercise their wings, before taking their first flight? Like small birds do nesting in bird boxes." I don’t have the measurements, but by coincidence that nest tree blew down this past summer and I felt inside the hole. Unbelievably small. I didn’t see how all three could fit inside. I wanted to measure it and will in the spring. They certainly had no room to stretch their wings in the nest hole. The first time they stretched their wings was when they leaped into flight to follow the parent. Amazing. They did just fine.20190117 WoodpeckerPiliated woodpecker at NABC

In Ely, there have been 4 reports in the last few weeks of ravens preying on pigeons. People whose have buildings where pigeons roost were happy to hear it. Others wanted details of how the raven caught the pigeons—on the ground or in flight. I haven’t heard.

Out the window, the tamest gray fox has fallen into a pattern. He or she comes and looks at me at my desk, sometimes standing up to see in the window at the far edge of my desk. Sometimes it leaps up onto a wood structure and looks in the window at eye level. Or it watches me from the door area until I make contact and come over. It calmly watches me go to the bologna and show it a piece inches from its face through the glass. Then I open the door. That used to make the fox run several yards down the steps to watch. Now it is usually more accepting, taking the risk to stand on its hind legs to take the bologna with me standing tall in the doorway. I heard of a lady in Russia who started this way and eventually gave the fox a bed in her house; so what I am doing is not that remarkable, but every small advance is a thrill to me. I’ve never seen a fox like this before.

I’ve never seen a mink (Stripe) that acts like the fox before, either.

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center