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Black-backed Woodpeckers on the Baraga Plains

The Baraga Plains is an extensive jack pine area SW of L'Anse, Michigan.  In the spring of 2007 a 'controlled' burn got away from its managers and burned over 1000 acres.   In late 2007 I started to investigate the burn area and was impressed with how many Black-backed Woodpeckers were in there.  It shouldn't have been too surprising, Black-backs are known fire specialists that thrive in burned pine forests.  Beginning in fall of 2007 and extending through the fall of 2008 I spent hundreds of hours exploring the burned landscape and watching the Black-backs.   It turned out that these birds were doing VERY well.   No one had documented so many Black-backs nesting in so small an area.   So with lots of help from Zach Gayk an article was published in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology.    

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Aerial photo of the "Baraga Bump" fire in 2007

To the right is a female Black-backed and the male is below.


A male is bringing some food to the nest for young.

Then he takes off for more foraging.


To right and below are two different young Black-backs -almost ready to leave the nest.

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