So, we had a long discussion about this bird – is it Pill-e-ated or Pie-lee-ated? David Akoubian says the Pie version is right but, I’m still not sure.
In any case, we followed this guy down one of the fence lines as he checked all the crevices for insects and tried to avoid a bunch of crazy photographers. It was wonderful to be able to observe his behavior for more than the few moments that I typically get. I am treated to seeing these birds in my own yard occasionally but they normally fly off before I get much of a chance to watch.
One thing that I noticed was that they use their tail feathers for balance. In this picture and others that I got, you see the tail feathers pointed down for stability. I guess this is really important when they are pecking away at a tree. I suppose I would be quickly dizzy from all that head-banging and would be very grateful for some extra support.
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Cades Cove, Tennesssee
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/8 – 1/80 sec – ISO 1250