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Re: Help with woodpecker call

Subject: Re: Help with woodpecker call
From: "Mitch Hill" wa1ykn
Date: Mon Sep 5, 2011 6:47 pm ((PDT))
On 9/5/2011 8:05 PM, John Carroll wrote:
> If anyone out there has experience/knowledge about woodpecker calls I wou=
ld appreciate any comments.
> Yesterday I recorded the last 2 minutes of a 5 minute long Pileated Woodp=
ecker call, mixed with what sounds like a hawk (? Red-Tailed hawk).  The wo=
odpecker sounded quite agitated, especially evident near the end of the rec=
ording.  The woodpecker is clearly aware of the hawk's presence and respond=
s to it.  Any thoughts on this apparent interaction between the woodpecker =
and the hawk?
I can not say much about the woodpecker call other than to agree with
you, it sure is agitated.  However, I'm not sure its the hawk causing
the woodpeckers agitation, the sound of the hawk is too low in level
compared to the level of the calls of the woodpecker.

Red tail hawks are one of my favorite raptors which is a good thing as
where I live is a nesting area for Redtails and I listen to them flying
overhead daily including standing in my driveway two weeks ago watching
the amazing aerial acrobatics of mother Redtail teaching her young to
catch their food in flight.

Point is, this is a performance including lots of calling between mother
and young that I hear daily, I can be working in the shop and will drop
what I am doing to go outside to see what is the cause of the racket.  =

In your recording I would fully expect the calls of the hawk to be as
loud or louder than the calls of the woodpecker if the hawk were the
cause of the agitation.

However, its been my observations that there is one unusual possibility
that can cause the hawk to make softer than normal sounds and that is if
the Woodpecker was harassing the hawk.  I see this condition here
occasionally with half a dozen crows that share the area with the
hawks.  For the most part they leave each other alone however if a hawk
blunders into crow territory,  the crows are unmerciful with their
harassing of the hawk who will sit in a tree top and talk back to the
crows with soft calls almost like he is apologizing for his or her
transgression.  Redtail hawks are amazing birds and I have come to the
conclusion that they are not as bad an actor as many would suspect.  The
Redtails seem to be willing to get along with all the other birds
locally however are deadly on our mole and cotton tail population.  As
it is a single woodpecker, I do not think a Redtail would hang around to
submit to its harassing so I think this is unlikely the case.  In part
this is due to the size of a Redtail being about the same size as an
eagle, its possibly the biggest of our hawks.

Not so with Sharp Shin and Sparrow hawks, being smaller, they are the
bird catchers in this area however I would suspect a Pileated Woodpecker
is more bird than a Sharp Shin or a Sparrow Hawk wants to tangle with as
they are similar in size...

If you are interested, in my collection of recordings, I have a short
recording of the Redtails overhead:

Photos that go with recording:

Mitch Hill

(Sent from HP DV6T)

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