American Three-Toed Woodpecker (times two!)

In bird speak, today’s bird was lifer. However, what is better than finding one new bird for the first time in your life? Two! Yes, after slogging through the deep snow in the Boreal Bog, stopping frequently to let my ears be my guide, I finally heard a the telltale tapping. Following the the route indicated by my ears I struck pay dirt. After watching one American Three-Toed Woodpecker for about ten minutes, I suddenly realized another bird was tapping away about 15 yards behind me. Number two!

I found these two birds about 400 yards in from Blue Spruce Road in a dead-fall area (Warren Nelson Bog) … directly in from the logged trees. I originally used the snowshoe trail but saw nada, Bushwhacking north eventually found me my goal. About 20 minutes later a local guide arrived with his group. He had followed the same snowshoe path and then a Black Backed Woodpecker into the dead-fall area. His group had 10+ people from California and Texas. I made polite conversation and commented about how warm it was outside (22F). They did not believe I was serious about its being warm outside. LOL!

My other stops yielded some nice birds. The Sharp-Tailed Grouse LEK on Racek Road was full of birds at 8:45 am. These grouse are already starting to think love in the dead of winter. Here is an image I took of a Sharpie I found feeding near-bye about an hour later.

The Sharp-Tailed Grouse was not my only “chicken like’ bird find. While exiting the bog I almost drove over this Ruffed Grouse. Dumb bird! Move off the road!

Finally, while I was not looking for Great Gray Owls, and was actually driving too fast to normally spot these owls (30 mph) as I moved between birding locations, my friendly neighborhood owls insisted I could not ignore them! Here is a photo of one of the two GGO’s found this morning.

Oh yes, yesterday afternoon I decided to go and look for Snowy Owls in Superior, Wisconsin. I only found one during nice light, but when 4 pm rolled around and the sun ducked behind some clouds, the Snowies came out. In total I saw five! I took this photo just before some crows chased this owl away.

2 thoughts on “American Three-Toed Woodpecker (times two!)

  1. Lefty Gomez (NY Yankees) may have coined the phrase, “I’d rather be lucky than good!” Hear, hear. A newbie to Sax-Zim, I stumbled upon Rich and the guided party only to discover that I was in between Northern and Black-Backed Three-Toed Woodpeckers. Some day I may have to figure out how Rich did it but, for now, I’m pretty content, that is to say, thrilled. Thanks also for generous detail about where to look for Snowy Owls around the airport in Superior.

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