A Happy Surprise Visit – The Pileated Woodpecker

My daughter and I were treated to a visitation from a shy resident of our neighborhood, the Pileated Woodpecker.  These woodpeckers are not fond of populated areas as a rule.  They need old trees, with a mix of conifer and deciduous trees. Fortunately, we do have such a mix in the wooded lots that run through our area and across the highway are thousands of acres of woods.  But it hasn’t been till just the past few years that we have actually seen them around the houses.  It thrills me every time I see one of these gorgeous birds.

Please excuse the picture quality. They were taken in haste through a second story window screen.  We’ve never had them this close to the house before and I know how skittish they are so we grabbed what we could.

The tree outside our kitchen window is half dead and is now of interest to the woodpeckers.

The tree outside our kitchen window is half dead and is now of interest to the woodpeckers.

They eat insects and some fruits and nuts.  They have a partiallity for carpenter ants.

They eat insects and some fruits and nuts. Carpenter ants are a favorite.

These birds are quite large, 16 to 19 inches high with a wing span of 26 to 30 inches.

These birds are quite large, 16 to 19 inches high with a wing span of 26 to 30 inches.

If you’d like to learn more, or better yet, hear the sounds they make, go to Audubon.org. The calls are in the lower right hand corner.  Just click and listen!

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