Pileated Woodpecker Visits
(Phloeotomus pileatus pileatus)

by William P. Meyers

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Usually I hear the pecking first. It is far louder than the pecking of the Acorn Woodpeckers or Red-Bellied Sapsuckers even when it is farther away. If I am lucky I get a glimpse of the Pileated Woodpecker, a large and striking bird. A few times I have run for a camera, but I have never been able to get a picture. I had seen them maybe a half dozen times in ten years before today.

My wife had never seen a Pileated Woodpecker until the morning of June 2, 2008. There is a dead Bishop Pine trunk standing in our yard that I have left purposely for woodpeckers. Jan spotted the woodpecker from our downstairs door, and was working with the camera, so she tried to take a picture, but she got it set on video some how. She called for me and gave me the camera, which I set to automatic picture mode. I snapped some shots from the door, then went upstairs to a larger window. I think this is the best shot:

Pileated Woodpecker

I don't know if the woodpecker found a juicy grub meal, but after pecking a while it flew off.

I don't know if it is a local bird (probably with a large territory) or if we were just seeing it on the way to somewhere else.

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