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Dogbombed again! Plus, Pileated Poop: How to Find It

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I tried to take some pictures of coltsfoot. 

When I get down on my knees, Chet always trots over to see what I'm looking at.

Which makes for some interesting compositions.

Clearly, Chet considers my photos vastly enhanced by his presence.

I like this one. My car's in it. Plus, bonus dog winky.

It was a perfect spring day, with stripey shadows across my favorite dirt road. It got up to 70 degrees in the afternoon. I started writing at 7 AM, and I was done with a bullet by 3 pm.  We headed to Dean's Fork!

So, so beautiful.

A winter rosette. Not sure the species, but sure love the color, and the way the new warm-weather growth is green.

I was diggin' it so much. It started out a run, then devolved into a ramble.

I saw a tree that had been thoroughly woodpeckered. Only a pileated can make a hole like that. Well, up here in Ohio, anyway.

Anytime I see fresh woodpecker workings, I look for pileated poop in the pile of chips beneath the holes. It is always right at the base of the tree. Pileateds apparently drop their poo straight down as they cling to the bark.

I was not disappointed.

Lotsa poop.
A bunch of holes. 
This bird had been working here for a long time.

It was time for some pileated poop analysis. 

I crumbled it up in my palm. The most surprising thing in it was a very large horsefly head (outer left center). Its leg was there, too. I figure the woodpecker found the horsefly roosting under some bark. Not a typical prey item, though.

There were also sumac seeds  in the above photo (bottom center and top center, two species).

I crumbled the big curly poop and it was almost solid carpenter ant parts. Lots of nice black skulls. 

So now you know how to look for pileated poop. I led a bird walk a couple of winters ago for the Ohio Ornithological Society and we saw almost no birds. But thank God I saw a tree with fresh workings and was able to crumble up pileated poo in my hand. That made everyone so happy. Me most of all.

Mether, we share a predilection for sitting down on dirt roads and looking closely at poop. That is why you are the perfect dog person.

I resumed trying to get a good evocative photo of coltsfoot. This, growing in a streambed.

His dog radar kicked in.

and he bombed the shot again.

This is an infinitely more interesting shot with me in it.

Everything's better with Bacon.


Oh, what a delightful post! Bacon, pileated poop, spring!

Crappy post.

This comment has been removed by the author.

I learned something new about one of my favorite birds, the Pileated Woodpecker! I enjoyed the coltsfoot (I'm hoping to see some here, if spring EVER arrives) and of course, Chet's photobombing. :)

Thanks so much for this! As someone who looks at woodpecker sign obsessively, this was very useful information.

How beautiful are your spring woods!

Now I'm gonna have to trudge through blackberry brambles to examine the base of these new Pileated cavities to peek at poop.

Thanks to your photos, it should be easy to locate - just take the dogleg to the left ...

Ah, what fun!! :-) the poop, the bacon, the scenery...everything.

Lots of Pileateds here in the Blue Ridge and lots of arguments as to pronunciation. (pill-e-ate-d to me), but I've never looked for poop. I'm going to!

Posted by catspawlace March 28, 2015 at 8:45 AM
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