It was one of those times when a call lured me out the door, though I wasn’t sure right away what I heard. Within seconds I spotted a female pileated woodpecker on a fallen tree trunk, less than ten feet away and no camera! So I hurried back inside, changed my camera's lens, retrieved the digital card from the reader and grabbed my shoes, hoping she might be there when I returned.
As I stepped out to find her, I caught a glimpse of a second pileated woodpecker. Amazing what a long day of rain can bring. The female flew before I got an image but below is a photo I took of her April 1st. She was flighty and busy and on that day she gave me one shot.
Notice how her crest starts back from her forehead and her mustache stripe is totally black. The male's crest comes down further on his forehead and he has red in his mustache stripe.
Now meet her handsome partner. Steady, determined, a mighty hammer and a delight to watch, the male is pictured in the images below. I’ve included both the clear and fuzzy images so you can see his personality, that adorable face and what magic it was to watch him. In the first couple of images he has his grand crest all fluffed up. I don't know what stirred this excitement.
I have more to show you later.
Meanwhile, let your dead limbs lie, your stumps hang around to decay, your dead tree trucks remain where they stand. Your property will mean more to our bird community and you will gain more pleasure than any manicured yard can ever provide.