Birds of the Backyard 3

“A forest bird never wants a cage.” -Henrik Ibsen

On to our third entry for bird of the year (there is no actual contest going on).  It is everyone’s favorite cartoon bird, for those of us who remember cartoons that is, the woodpecker.  There are many different species of woodpecker across the globe and here in the United States.  This particular one is also the largest in North America, with the Ivory-billed Woodpecker listed as almost certainly extinct.  Introducing… the Pileated Woodpecker.

It is hard to miss this giant of a bird, not only because of its size, but also its distinct markings. It is as big as a crow with a black body and bright red crest with white stripes running down its neck.  They are expert excavators who will do so to make a new nest each year and also for other birds, small mammals, reptiles, and the occasional garden gnome to use in its stead.  Ok, I am not sure about the reptiles, but I believe the woodpeckers just hollow out the tree because they enjoy it, although that may not be a scientific certainty that can be proven.  And if there happen to be any carpenter ants reading this, be warned—these guys are carpenter ant eating fiends.  They will occasionally visit birdfeeders as well as K2’s mom can attest to (she shall remain nameless for now to protect the innocent).  Besides, she knows who she is… The Pileated Woodpecker is common, in the southeastern part of the country, and it a cool looking bird we found in our backyard.  Enjoy the pictures and the link below to hear its incredibly unique call.

Happy Wandering!


Male Pileated Woodpecker
Studying the log for ants
Really looking for ants now…
You talkin’ to me?
Back to work.
Just showing off now…

2 Comments on “Birds of the Backyard 3

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