At our regular bird banding activity at Springbrook Nature Center today we captured this female Hairy Woodpecker. We first captured her in October of 1998 as a hatch year bird. That makes her 14 years and some months old. If the Bird Banding Lab decides that she is at least 4 months plus 14 years old, she will be the 3rd oldest Hairy Woodpecker ever recorded.
She looked full of energy and bright eyed as we weighed and measured her today. These pictures are courtesy of Amber Burnette, who was photographing while I was holding the bird and taking measurements.
Her band was very worn and thin as can be seen in this picture and the picture below. A new band is next to her band below.
Woodpeckers often wear their bands quite thin as the band rubs against the bark of trees while the woodpecker moves up and down searching for food. But this band was knife edge sharp on the top edge, and exceptionally thin, so we took the band off and replaced it with a new one.
We have captured her 25 times in the last 14 years. Let's hope we catch her for a few more years and set a record for the oldest Hairy Woodpecker ever recorded.