The Majestic, Beautiful and Elusive PILEATED WOODPECKER
My husband, son and I are bird watchers - in our back yard. We live in a wooded area of large trees including pine, hickory, gum, oak, dogwood, holly and probably many others that I do not know the names of right off hand. We see many, many birds, but our favorite is the beautiful and elusive Pileated Woodpecker. This is a magnificent bird. One of the largest birds in the woodpecker family, measuring up to 16 1/2 inches long. The Pileated Woodpecker has a large bill, beautiful red crest on its head, a red spot on his cheek, black and white stripes that stand out on its face, pale yellowish brown eyes, and a black body with white under its wings. When we are blessed to see this bird fly above our heads from tree to tree, we always watch in awe, eager to keep him in our sights as long as we can. We try to snap a picture of him because he is very flighty and does not stay around long when he thinks he is being watched or if something odd, like a human or dog, is viewed by him from on high. So far, we have not been able to get a decent picture of him due to the fact that by the time we spot him, run to get the camera and come back, he is gone. Today, however, early in the morning when my husband left for work, we spotted not one, but two Pileated Woodpeckers flying around together from tree to tree in our yard and along the woods. We were VERY excited to say the least, but alas, they disappeared when we went to get the camera. This afternoon, I was out in the yard with the chickens and our dog, Maddie, and I heard the familiar call of the Pileated. I spotted him or her, high up in one of our holly trees. I ran to get my camera and slowly and quietly slipped out onto the porch to wait to hear or see him again. I peaked around the corner and there he was, still hanging around up there, high in the holly tree. I quietly turned on my camera, zoomed it in as far as it would go and snapped his picture (I felt like the dirty paparazzi snapping risque pictures of celebrities, but I had to get the shot!). I was only able to get three, but he is so beautiful. If I were only a better photographer, but oh well. I'm very, very happy and very satisfied that I was able to get any pictures of him at all :)
I am sharing them with you and hope you enjoy them as much as I do!