Pileated Woodpecker

We were visiting family in Maryland (Eastern Shore) when we noticed this woodpecker on her tree in the front yard. We watched him for a while, as I lamented that my cameras were in the trunk of my car in the driveway near the tree. My sister suggested that if I went out the back door, and went around to the car, he probably wouldn’t even notice. Sure enough, I even was able to close the trunk.

I shot this HH through the glass in the storm door. I was getting the road in the BG, so I went a got a stool to stand on, and was able to eliminate the road.

Specific Feedback Requested

I shot a vertical as well, and may post it too, just to see which one is most preferred. I thought I would like it best but I seemed to be drawn to the horizonal one.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Canon 7D Mark II, 150-600 mm Sigma Contemporary lens. Settings manual with auto ISO. 1/1250, F6.3, ISO 2000. Edited in LR and Topaz AI Clear. Slight crop on vertical just to straighten it mainly, and bit more off the horizonal, but not much.

4 Likes

I see what you mean about the horizontal - it shows more of the tree and where the bird spends so much of its time. I do wish the very tip of the tail was still there though - I think you accidentally cropped it out. The blacks look good and the white also. Background is terrific - so glad you stood on the furniture!

Thank you for confirming the horizonal one, Kris. As for the tail, I thought that too, but realized I have more space below the tail, and it appears to me that the tail feathers are stuck down into a crack in the bark. I just went back and looked at the original and all I cropped off was bark on the bottom, no tail feathers. Just worked out that way. Maybe if I add back the bottom it won’t look so much like I took some of his tail feathers off.

Very nice. I prefer the horizontal, but would add back a little to the bottom from your crop to solve the tail issue. If you have any more on the right, I think I’d add that and take some away from the left.

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I t’s always a treat to see and /or photograph a Pileated Woodpecker and you did a nice job with this image. I, too, lean towards the horizontal view and like Keith’s suggestions regarding crop. Also, great background. Nicely done.

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One of my favorite birds, Shirley. Great image. I think I prefer the vertical. More focus on the bird. Well done.

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Great photos! I think I like the vertical slightly better, she has that slight head tilt like a quizzical look while looking for a snack!

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Excellent job. I like both crops but the portrait crop appeals to me the most. You did a really wonderful job in getting color balance and detail without over saturating the red hood. I have these in my neighborhood rarely and they are very difficult to approach. This is impressive for having shot through glass.

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Shirley, around our house the Pileated Woodpeckers are very shy. While the female will come to our suet feeder, she leaves if we move very much inside the house and she’s just hollers from the distance if I’m out in the woods. I vote for the vertical with the fine swaths of green and seeing the full woodpecker.

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Wow! Love this, Shirley! I’m so glad he hung around long enough for you to do all that and be able to get a few different angles! I vote for the vertical, portrait shot as well! It’s a little closer and I love the facial expression, so cute! It really brings out the personality and focuses more on the individual rather than the environment. Beautiful captures!

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Nicely done, Shirley. I tend to prefer the vertical, though a compromise might work better than either. I definitely like having the full tail.

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Shirley: I’m not a bird guy but I envy you the opportunity. I like both but might lean a bit toward the horizontal because I like some of the detail in the bark. I think I would crop some of the OOF bark on the left. The vertical is a nice portrait of the bird and I like the BG. Well done. >=))>

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