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Monday, March 27, 2006

Pileated Woodpeckers

These photos of Pileated Woodpeckers were taken on Sanibel Island last year and this year. They are of the subspecies D. p. pileatus, which lives in the Southeast. They were all photographed with the Canon 1D Mark II, which has an 8.5 frames per second shooting speed (according to Canon) with either the 1-400 IS mm lens, or 400 mm f/5.6 lens. It is interesting to see what a Pileated looks like in flight.

Here is a Pileated at rest on a tree, taken 1/20/05
Photo 1

These next three images were taken on 1/25/05. They may not be an exact sequence of wings flaping. Photos 2 and 3 were taken in the same recorded second of the camera (according to the camera's metadata.) Photo 4 was taken a second later. There may have been intervening shots that we did not keep since there can be up to 8.5 frames per second with the Mark II.

Photo 2

Photo 3
Photo 4

These next 4 images were taken on 1/20/05. Photos 5, 6 and 7 were all taken in the same recorded second of the camera (according to the camera's metadata.) Photo 8 was taken in the next second. Again, they may not be an exact sequence.

Photo 5
Photo 6
Photo 7
Photo 8

These next photos are blurry, and not what I would normally publish, so please excuse the poor quality of the shots. They are interesting because they are an extended sequence of flight shots of a Pileated Woodpecker. They were taken with a Canon 1D Mark II on a cloudy day, with a Canon 400 f 5.6 lens at ISO 640, at f/6.3, 1/2000 sec. The camera was set on the high-speed continuous mode (which takes a maximum of 8.5 shots a second.) The autofocus is better on the beginning and last shots. I was standing on a deck in our yard and the Pileated was about eye height and about 30 ft. away. It turned its head away, then toward the tree, then flew. The bird was briefly hidden behind the tree, so I do not know what position its wings were in when it was behind the tree. When it emerged, its wings were down. From that shot on, the metadata in the camera indicated that the last 8 photos were all taken in the same second. It is interesting that the only frame with the wings lifted fully up is the last frame. There may, or may not have been, some additional strokes that the camera did not capture during that time. The bird flew away and upward towards the overcast white sky. All photos have been cropped and sharpened in photoshop.

Photo 9
Photo 10
Photo 11
Photo 12
Photo 13
Photo 14
Photo 15
Photo 16 (telepone lines are slightly visible)
Photo 17 (telephone lines still visible)
Photo 18
Pileated Woodpecker photos © Lillian Stokes, 2006

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