Monday, April 9, 2012
Pileated Woodpecker - Female
I finally got my close encounter with a resident Pileated Woodpecker in my neck of the woods. I was watching Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers work some trees when this gal silently flew in to inspect this tree. Lucky for me I saw her sneak into a cavity, so then I waited for her to come out and here is the shot!
The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest. Look (and listen) for Pileated Woodpeckers whacking at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their main prey, carpenter ants, leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood. The nest holes these birds make offer crucial shelter to many species including swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens.