Pileated in yard / Mergansers & Eagles at Wanaque Reservoir

This afternoon Bob and I were very excited to find a female Pileated Woodpecker in our Ringwood yard. Bob immediately got his camera and was able to get some cool photos. It was interesting to watch her getting sap from holes in the trees, and we heard her knocking loudly on the wood, sending bark flying all around. She darted from tree to tree for quite a while. (Click on any photo to bring you to the full album. All photos by Bob Perry.)

Female Pileated Woodpecker in the yard - Ringwood - November 23, 2014 (all photo taken by Bob Perry)Getting sap from the already existing holes in the treeLifting her wing

We went over to Wanaque Reservoir around 1 pm, because yesterday I had noticed a whole bunch of ducks sitting on the water. They were still there today, and all of them except one bird were Common Mergansers – easily 300, but that’s a conservative estimate. The exception was a lone male Hooded Merganser associating with the Commons. Suddenly, the ducks started to take flight and make alarm sounds, and we watched 2 immature Bald Eagles who had been perched nearby start to terrorize the ducks. After all the birds were up, more came flying overhead from farther up the reservoir, along with 12 Mallards. The eagles made a big show but never ended up catching anything:

First immature Bald Eagle, scaring up the ducks

Five of approximately 300 Common Mergansers on Wanaque Reservoir being scared up by 2 Bald Eagles

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