A bird I often hear but seldom see is the Pileated Woodpecker. This bird, which comes in at #17 on the Thirty-Bird list, taunts me by flying around in the wooded area behind my house, loudly echoing out his laugh-like cry, but mostly staying out of sight.
But yesterday, I was standing outside with my camera when he announced his arrival and landed on a tree near the fence-line just long enough for me to fire off a few shots.
Isn’t he fascinating looking? To me he looks practically prehistoric, as if he belongs in the same family as the Pterodactyl – which is a word I think should have the “p” pronounced to aid in the alliteration! Practically prehistoric pterodactyl would be the perfect pronunciation!
The word “pileated” (I know thanks to Google) comes from a Latin word that means “capped” or “crested,” so it’s clear that this bird is aptly named.
I cropped the picture below so you could see the size of his feet!
Pileated pairs mate for life (though they often don’t share the same nest cavity) and drum loudly with their magnificent beaks to declare and defend their territory. The male is easily distinguished from the female by his red cheek stripe; hers is black.
I am so happy that I get to include this gorgeous guy in the April Thirty-Bird Challenge!
2 thoughts on “Thirty-Bird Challenge: Practically Prehistoric”
A very handsome bird, always a thrill to hear and see.