Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

Come wander in; my gate is always open! Gardening / Birding

Pileated Woodpecker Sighting! October 12, 2012

Filed under: Birding,Fall,Midwest — Paula B @ 9:00 AM
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My hubby and I spent several days during our mild winter last year in search of spotting this great bird species, the Pileated Woodpecker. Because we had very little snow, we took to walking in a park near our home where there are trails through the woods. We had heard the loud drumming sound and its call on a number of occasions, but were unable to catch but a distance glimpse.

Recently, my daughter and I were driving to a conference a few hours north-west of our home. As we were entering a residential area on a quiet morning, one flew right across the road in front of us! We couldn’t have missed it — this bird is large, 15 to 19 inches with a wingspan of 26 to 29 inches — and has the same undulated flight as most woodpeckers. The clincher, in case we had any doubt, was the large crest of bright red on its head.

Now my daughter must have thought me a bit nutty because I got so excited. 🙂 Noticing that I was tickled, she told me to turn around and go back, so we did.

You know, there he was, still on the side of a tree in someone’s front yard right by the road. I carefully pulled over so I didn’t startle him. This was the best shot I could get with my phone camera.

pileated woodpecker | | paula bonelli

Pileated Woodpecker

Get a better view of what this beautiful bird looks like by watching this video of a Pileated Woodpecker visiting a suet feeder in NY.

Have you had a close encounter with one of these woodpeckers?


3 Responses to “Pileated Woodpecker Sighting!”

  1. Gillian Says:

    Pileated Woodpeckers are common where I live, and I’ve had a couple of experiences where I’ve been able to watch them from only a few feet away! Unlike owls, they usually don’t care that you’re standing right there watching them. If you know of any woodlots where they are present, keep checking them out….you’ll get lucky one of these days!

    • Paula B Says:

      Oh — I sure will keep trying in the wooded park near us. My husband and I spotted another one yesterday flying over the road in the rural area close to our home.

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