A Surprise Gift

On Friday, I spent time working in our Greenbelt restoration site. As I turned to go back home, I heard a loud sound. It took a moment for me to figure out what it was. When I looked ahead of me, I saw a woodpecker pecking at a dead tree. It was unlike any woodpecker I’ve ever seen. One of the remarkable things about it was that it looked huge.

I used the burst setting on my phone camera and was able to capture a shot of it in the action of pecking.

I wish I had thought to take a video so you could hear the loud sound it made when it was pecking.

Later, I learned that it was a Pileated woodpecker. which is similar in size to a crow. One of their most notable features is their bright red crest. The males have a red streak on their cheek, so the one I saw must have been a female.

These birds are often found around dead trees, foraging for carpenter ants. They are known for the triangle shape holes they create in trees, holes that become habitat to “swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens.”

Pileated woodpeckers  apparently have bright white underwings. I hope that someday I have the opportunity to see one in flight!



Pileated Woodpecker


14 thoughts on “A Surprise Gift

  1. How wonderful! and a big gift. Who knows who else might move in? Owls? Bats? What grace to have seen this beautiful bird, and he let you know he was there!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Karuna, we have a pair that have habituated our neighborhood for years👍 And they are fascinating and beautiful in flight. I’m happy you had such a sighting. 💗Joan

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I personally have a love/hate relationship with this particular bird.

    They visit me on the west side of the mountains because, as you might remember, my home is riddled with Carpenter Ants, so YAY!

    However at our Retreat on the East side of the mountains, they EAT our HOUSE! Well, they keep pecking into the new addition, one time even establishing a NEST with BABIES inside the attic there!


    Liked by 1 person

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