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Forest Drummer

Forest Drummer
Photo Information
Copyright: Rene Lortie (rlortie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 295 W: 59 N: 593] (2058)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-01-29
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark II, Canon EF500/4L IS
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/200 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Woodpeckers, _Fotos adicionadas por 5 ou mais membros, 5 favs. and up - PART 2, 100 points or more (Chapter 1) [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-01-30 10:01
Viewed: 9735
Favorites: 6 [view]
Points: 110
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
Pileated Woodpecker
Dryocopus pileatus

Taken in boisé Papineau, Laval, Québec. This one was digging a hole 4 inches deep and 4 inches diameter when I heard it. I heard it before I saw it, because their drumming against the wood is really loud. I was watching the Great gray owl I posted yesterday when this one got my attention. He was in the woods just behind me. Although it was a sunny day, I had to use high ISO settings because it's a mature forest and the sun barely comes in.

Scientific Name: The genus comes from a combination of two Greek words, drys (a tree) and kopis (a cleaver or dagger). The species name is Latin meaning "capped," which refers to the red and black crest on this woodpecker's head.

Even the most experienced birders find delight in spotting the majestic Pileated Woodpecker. Measuring up to 47 cm tall, this species is by far, the largest and most striking of the 8 species of Woodpeckers known to nest in Quebec. The Pileated requires mature forest that contain some dead trees, known as snags. It is in these trees that the Pileated excavates it's impressive cavities used for nesting and roosting. The nesting cavities are impressive indeed, being up 20 cm wide! Because woodpeckers like the Pileated abandon many of their excavations holes, they inadvertently create high quality nesting habitat for many other species, including Wood Ducks, Goldeneyes, as well as other species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. Other services provided by the Pileated Woodpecker is the consumption of large numbers of wood-boring insects that damage commercially important trees. Clearly, dead trees are crucial habitat for the Pileated Woodpecker. In turn, the Pileated Woodpecker is crucial to the survival of numerous other species. Perhaps the Pileated Woodpecker in Quebec serves is a keystone species, by allowing the existence of a diversity of other bird species.

Tech notes
Date/Time: 2005:01:29 10:36:20
Shutter speed: 1/200 sec
Aperture: 5,6
Exposure mode: Av
Flash: On
Flash exposure compensation: -2 1/3
Metering mode: Evaluative
Drive mode: Continuous (low): frame 1
ISO: 800
Lens: 500mm
Focal length: 700mm
AF mode: AI Servo AF
Image quality: Raw
White balance: Daylight
Color matrix 1: sRGB natural-looking hue and chroma
Color space: sRGB

Cropped to remove OOF branches in front of the tail. Sharpened with Intellisharpen II.

thistle, Fisher, JeanMichel, LCannon, PDP, liquidsunshine, Signal-Womb, scottevers7, Janice, red45, gerhardt, carper, livios, LordPotty, Luc, sAner, Leace, Callie, coasties, Andrieux, Alan_Kolnik, saguzar, leonir has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Luc: boisé PapineauLuc 3 02-01 22:50
To livios: Noise and ISO settingsrlortie 1 01-31 14:16
To ornis: Type de flash utilisé.rlortie 1 01-30 11:26
To thistle: Heightrlortie 1 01-30 11:22
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Critiques [Translate]

Great portrait.
Very beutiful bird. Good composition and colours.
How high was he digging? It looks as if he was less than two meters over the ground.
Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-01-30 10:19]

You beat me to it. I have one of these Woody wood peckers on film. I was about 20ft from him while it was eating berries from a bush.
Excelent capture and details. Like to see the full monty if you have one.


Décidément, c'est le paradis en ce moment au Québec! Que de beaux oiseaux dans vos envois. La lumière d'hiver, sans doute reflétée par la neige, donne un superbe rendu des couleurs. Environnement parfait. Quelle qualité d'image!... aucune critique. Quel type de flash utilisez-vous sur ces distances? Merci et bravo René.

  • Great 
  • sev Silver Star Critiquer [C: 25 W: 0 N: 0] (56)
  • [2005-01-30 10:30]

wonderful bird !
great composition and colours, very well done

Beautiful shot as always Rene, the colors are real and the focus very sharp. Goes to show that you never know what you can encounter when pursuing a subject, you might be distracted by another of just as great of value. Keep sharing Rene.

  • Great 
  • willie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1023 W: 61 N: 648] (2083)
  • [2005-01-30 10:41]

Stunning shot Rene. I think by far your best post. Very good work

He is a beauty.. good portrait of this colourful bird. Love the red against the gray BG. Sharp details.
Well done


  • Great 
  • Nico Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 199 W: 1 N: 335] (1321)
  • [2005-01-30 11:53]

Excellent quality, good colour balance.

Beautiful bird Rene, and a nice capture. I could get into this bird watching group, but sadly I don't have the lens to get this close a shot. The colors on his head are so sharp and clear, really stand out!
I caught a photo of a large bird in my yard, but too blurry to post here, but was able to identify him at least as a Northern Flicker, Woodpecker. The woodpeckers are very striking birds, thank you for telling me more about them in your note.
Well done, as usual.

Hi René, great portrait of a beautiful bird.
Very good sharpness, POV and colours.
Great work.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-01-30 13:25]

Beautiful picture and one to be prooud of. I love it. I especially like the colours and the way they make the red and white on the bird bright and vibrant. Very well done.

Fantastic shot Rene,
Excellent colour and detail.
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • martel (134)
  • [2005-01-30 13:42]

wonderful job ! great detail .. I photographed one of these at Parc Omega .. I think I need one of those 500mm :)

did we meet chasing snow geese in QC ? last year ?

Great! Very nice colours and DOF.

  • Great 
  • puciu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 16] (2631)
  • [2005-01-30 16:39]

Bardzo ³adny portret dobry kadr ostro¶æ OK.

Superb composition, colours and textures here Rene. Excellent note.

  • Great 
  • azulu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 111 W: 0 N: 75] (374)
  • [2005-01-30 20:24]

Very nice shot Rene. Great details in this photo. Nice colours and sharpness. I like the composition and the point of view.



A nice portrait of his Pileated Woodpecker. The sharp detail and color are great. Nice composition and framing. Well done.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2005-01-30 23:05]

Bravo très bonne prise. J'ai couru après un pendant toute une avant-midi sans succes. Belle photo super nette et bonne composition. Je me demande à quelle distance de toi, étais ce Grand pic ?

Just wonderful. I love his coiffure. And look at his claws! Great photo.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-01-31 4:59]

This is definitely Woody Woodpecker. Great shot Rene, very sharp and clear, with good colours. Very well done and thank you for sharing.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-01-31 5:53]

Great, detailed portrait. I like colours and composition. Beautiful bird with strong head :-)

Interesting subject, Rene. Very sharp and no noticable noise at ISO 800. I take it you used the 1,4X coverter (700mm)? Amazing how much details are still present in the blacks at 700mm. Great shot!

Very good portrait, great colours and POV. Not a nit.
Very well done.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2005-01-31 9:38]

These guys must have a permanent headache! This is beautiful capture in a great composition. Excellent sharpness and DOF here as well.

Very well done and thanks for posting

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2005-01-31 13:00]

Fantastic close upp Rene,
My compliments for this shot, very good composition, great details, very nice, I like it very much, great pof, great job

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-01-31 13:32]
  • [+]

René, my camera tends to produce noisy pictures the higher the ISO. Is it the same with your camera. In caso so, how do you remove the noise? By using Neat Image?

As for the picture, another perfect one. Vivid colors, perfect POV and composition.

An interesting and impressive bird Rene.A nice sharp capture too.I wouldn't have guessed this was from Canada.It almost looks like a bird from the tropics.A great shot. Well done.

  • Great 
  • edji Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 83 W: 8 N: 22] (426)
  • [2005-02-01 15:09]

Wow! mon préféré... mais jamais photographier... par moi.
Il y en a un qui est venu dans le bois derrière chez moi en novembre mais je n'avais pas mon appareil photo... Comme d'habitude. Bon cadrage et jolie couleur très caractéristique de ce bel oiseau.

Superb detail for ISO 800, clearly an impressive weapon your using. Are you using a converter to get the 700mm???
A very impressive close-up to get that brilliant red. Great contrast between the red and black.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-02-01 20:40]
  • [+]

Un bel oiseau, ce Grand Pic. Je n'ai jamais pu l'approcher de si près, ce tambourineur des bois.
Que des qualités pour cette image, pas de défauts.
Il semble que la perfection rôde dans les parages ;-)
Merci bien.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-02-02 6:49]

Great picture! I can't believe I missed this one. Fantastic bright colors, great composition and very sharp details, as always. :)

Woody Woody, what a great capture of this "specht" as we call it.
Really sharp and good colours and a great pose, very close, nice done, Rene !

  • Great 
  • Leace Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 30 W: 0 N: 61] (292)
  • [2005-02-07 9:35]

You are quite right in your note that it's a thrill to see this beautiful birds. Your note was very helpful with information.
This has to be one of the best bird portrait shots to date! The colour, sharpness, EVERYTHING is perfect.
(I saw one a few months ago, "hammering away", but none of those pics were good (it was too far away).
Congrats on this shot and keep them coming!

  • Great 
  • Callie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
  • [2005-02-24 14:22]

Hi René
I have missed this one completely - what a beautiful mug shot of this 'peccker. And as a birder, one to have on the wish list. Ours are all very small. TFS, I appreciate

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2005-03-03 8:28]

Amazing sharp shot,Love the colour.Great eye contact,i saw one golden backed woodpecker,but gave me tough time to pose,dint get good one.Great shot!!!

Cette photo est vraiment impressionante René, quelle netteté et quelle précision. La huppe rouge resoort magnifiquement dans cet environnement quasi N&B.
Bravo !!!!

Great contrast of the bird against the wooded background Rene - really impressive.

Rene, just stunning. It is a beautiful portrait. I hope my photos will be this good one day. Details are fantastic. Colurs are crisp and sharp. Perfect!

  • Great 
  • urban Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 71 W: 4 N: 79] (413)
  • [2005-03-22 17:08]

beautiful bird and a good composition of this picture. The red head contrasts well with the grey background

Very nice, perfect.

Well, I dont know if over 80 is really an accurate score but I think as well this is a good portrait...

  • Great 
  • LBO Silver Star Critiquer [C: 18 W: 0 N: 3] (143)
  • [2005-04-24 14:21]

Que voilà un beau pic. Magnifique photo, très claire et très lumineuse. Bravo.


great picture. In Slovenia we have not woodpackers with so much red had like this. It is very nice. Bravo

Quelle photo incroyable... Quels détails, quelle précision !!!
Je ne savais qu'il y avait des pic-bois à tête rouge à Laval...

  • Great 
  • rimas Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 157 W: 3 N: 667] (5094)
  • [2005-10-28 10:31]

Masterpiece job. Excellent composition of this beautiful bird in wonderful background.

Really perfect view of this species. I have seen them at a distance in the woods near the Potomoac River - never got anywhere close enough to get a view like this!!

  • Great 
  • Dave Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 503 W: 43 N: 657] (2178)
  • [2005-11-16 20:06]

I love this picture. Pileated Woodpeckers come around my house from time to time, but not often enough. :( Great picture!-)
Thanks for sharing,

Bonjour René,
Perfect photo. Jáime ce extreme clouse-up et aussi le couleurs, lumière et... tout.
merci beaucoup.

  • Great 
  • hibou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 217 W: 1 N: 331] (1629)
  • [2006-02-25 14:34]

Wow ! quel beau portrait ! Le bec et la patte sont superbes Bravo ! Donald L.

Excellent close up of this woodpecker. The colours are strong. Well done.

This is an amazing shot. Any chance of a link with the full JPG resolution, minimum compression no editing. I'm very curious how much details you get in with that kind of zoom.

Wow ! Magnifique! Quels détails ! Profondeurs de champ excellente, cadrage réussi ! Quelle perfection ! Bravo et merci de partager

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2006-04-15 11:54]

René bonjour, je suis passé à coté de cette splendide photo!! Ce grand pic est trés photogenique et vous en avez bien tiré parti!! Couleurs éclatantes , cadrage et super piqué sont au rendez vous. Mes félicitations, Didier.

Very beutiful bird. Good composition and colours.

  • Great 
  • el7262 (36)
  • [2009-03-25 7:13]

Bonjour René,

Très belle photo de ce pic à l'œuvre...Sacré zoom que tu as là avec une ouverture à 5.6 pour la photo d'animaux...

Salut Eric

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