A Pileated Return

2014-02-20 Pileated 1

You won’t likely see too many pictures of our pileated woodpeckers on my blog. They stay far away from our feeders and we might see them just 4-5 times a year so it was exciting to see them make a return tour here today. Whenever they visit, we take several pictures because it’s a rarity compared to the regular birds we see on a day to day basis.

2014-02-20 Pileated 3

You can tell this is the female by the gray on top of her head as opposed to the male who has all red on the top.

2014-02-20 Pileated 2

Heaven knows I’ve tried to get good pictures of them in flight. But it’s such a struggle. They never sit still and constantly flit from tree, to ground, to branch, to trunk, to ground etc. And once they take off I can never get them back in frame again before they’ve landed elsewhere.

2014-02-20 Pileated 4

Striking, aren’t they? They’re larger than the songbirds and other woodpeckers; much like the size of a crow or a duck, in fact. You can’t miss them when they’re flying around in your field of vision.

2014-02-20 Pileated 5

Hopefully I’ll see them again before too long. I hope I never take for granted the wonderful things I see in the woods each day.


Pileated Visitors

When we moved here, I had never seen a Pileated Woodpecker other than in a book. Since we’ve lived here, they’ve visited 2-3 times – “they” being a pair.

If you look carefully, you can just make out a pair of woodpeckers that were circling the tree they were on.  Unfortunately, all of these photos were a dance trying to focus on the birds and not the endless branches the camera kept focusing on.

By sheer luck I snapped a picture just as one took off. While not the clearest shot, it did give me an idea of what they look like in flight with their head feathers folded back and the white wing markings underneath. I never seem to get great pictures as they remain deeper into the woods than the other birds.

We put out a block of suet for the varieties of woodpeckers we have here. It took a while but now all the woodpeckers from miles around are eating this latest treat it seems. Glad we bought the bulk box of suet as we’ll be going through it for sure this winter!