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The Deeds of a Pileated King

Updated on October 17, 2015
Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker | Source

He appeared from nowhere dressed in crown

His subjects below his royal countenance.

Tossing that pompadour as he looks down

Our eyes meet while he laughs in impunity.


Rapidly moving as he looks askance

Those Blue Jesters pluck at their crowns

They wear to take liberty and every chance

To score an escaped crumb from his jaws.


The chips will fly where they may!

And the trumpets thunder in fanfare,

The king surveys his grandiose lands

While his court receives a profound glare.


Watching and waiting for the crowd to thin

My spyglass and lens at the ready,

In hope and anticipation I stand

Holding my bulky equipment steady.


He rapidly ascends to the top of a limb

Belting out his chortling call again.

My eyes are on his stately form

While his radiance he maintains.


See me now and state your case!

He knowingly holds my attention,

The silence that now ensues

Points right in my direction.


He then decides that the time is right

To make his exit anon,

And there I remain alone again,

No photo to show since he’s gone.


It’s just a matter of time! I call aloud

I’ll surely find you again.

Perhaps, he says, maybe later,

But I’ll not be the one to blame.

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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I thought that people would find this of interest in this form for a change. Thanks for reading, Norma!

    • norlawrence profile image

      Norma Lawrence 

      2 years ago from California

      Beautiful poem. I loved it. Thanks

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Mihnea, I am so happy to hear this. Animals have made a major impact on my life, too. As a matter of fact, it is so much so, that I have been devoting my life to helping them any way that I can.

    • Mihnea Andreescu profile image

      Mihnea-Andrei Andreescu 

      2 years ago from Tilburg

      When I was like..um seven I think me and my grandfather found an injured baby woodpecker and we healed it and fed it and when it got better we released it in the woods.This poem recalls some nice memories for me.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Indeed, I am, swalia. Thank you.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      2 years ago from India

      Seems like you are an avid bird lover...Lovely poem!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Give them time, Patricia, it is still a little early yet, though they had been doing the occasional drumming here.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Just stopping to say hey....

      I have not seen any sassy woodpeckers this year..heard a few but they have stayed hidden..

      Hoping all is well with you...Angels are on the way bringing you blessings ps

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for reading, Frank.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      the muse of a bird watcher.. love the poetry.. and the camera shy bird.. awesome poem :)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Majestic indeed, Lawrence! If you see one, you'll surely not forget it.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Beautiful words about a majestic little bird

      Lawrence

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Dave, that is my goal, educational reminders. I have been doing the same through my newspaper column, too.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 

      2 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi Deb, excellent your message always comes across in your magical verses, and educating people about our fellow inhabitants on earth is a beautiful and important part of all your work. well done.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Exactly, Cris. Sadly, elephants are not well treated in this world, they are beasts of burden. I would love to see that change in our lifetime. Al I can do is educate...

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 

      2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      aviannoovice: Deb, thank you for answering my questions. That's really interesting. I know other animals are capable of showing emotions and that they also grieve. However, so far the only animal that I have actually witnessed cried tears were elephants (and dogs). That was long ago when I was in Thailand and I was so moved with what I've seen.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Cris! Oh, he's far from camera shy, but he did want to eat.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 

      2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Perhaps he's camera shy Deb but say hello to him when you see him next.

      Delightful as always!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Our woodpeckers are out and about. I saw the pileated a couple of times, had no trouble hearing him, as he is so loud. They are so big, one cannot miss them. Hope that you get to photograph one, Patricia.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      2 years ago from sunny Florida

      How cool is this....kind of 'he who laughs last, laughs longest'...

      I have not seen any woodpeckers this year and honestly do not know if ours are pileated. But they are impressive and when I did have one in my yard, he too was camera shy.

      Well done, Deb

      Angels are on the way to you this evening. ps

      shared

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thankfully, Jackie, I know where to find several of them, so I usually get to see or hear one or two every time I got out for photos and counts.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      So beautiful and I love woodpeckers! Growing up I saw them just all the time and now it is very rare to see one.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Rightfully so, Sha. If I could have such an experience with a pileated!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      You're quite welcome, Deb. It started out as an epiphany when I saw this magnificent bird diligently building a home and began the online journal telling humans what we can learn from Pileateds. Then I became intrigued and knew I was blessed to witness the entire process. It got to where both the male and female recognized me and didn't mind me getting close enough to take photos ( I wish I had a better camera!). It was a truly amazing experience. I just had to share it.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sha, truly I am intrigued, so I shall stop by to see it soon. Thanks for inviting me to this wondrous piece of nature that I will surely find invaluable in my studies.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      Deb, I documented the process and posted it on my blog. Two articles from building the nest to the babies just about old enough to leave the nest. Lots of photos, too. If interested in checking it out, my website is www.shaunalbowling.com. Click on the blog tab.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That's very fortunate, Sha. I'm hoping to locate something unusual this winter, if I can.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      I love Pileated woodpeckers. I had the honor last spring of watching a male build a nest, entice a female to join him and nurture two offspring. It was amazing to watch. The family is still around, bringing a smile to my face each time I capture them in motion.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      And thank YOU, rdsparrowriter!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      It sure is, Scribenet. I thank my lucky stars every day.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 

      2 years ago

      Beautiful as always :) I enjoy reading and seeing different birds :) Thank you for sharing :)

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have seen this woodpecker up close and he is huge and magnificent! Nature is a marvel.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The hawk will be back, I have plenty right now. Do you get the Sandhill Cranes or are you talking about egrets and/or herons? Sounds like you have a nice choice of birds. With that bottlebrush, you should not only get hummers, but other species, like warblers, grosbeaks, catbirds, or cuckoos should be interested.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 

      2 years ago from Florida

      Yes, I used to feed them, but the squirrels would take their food. Then I accumulated kitty cats, so to see the birds I will usually catch them hanging around in the trees along my dirt road. However, sometimes, I see some in our field right beside the house.

      We have some bottle brush trees in the front yard in hopes that we would see those beautiful humming birds, but none yet.

      I'll stop my car on the dirt road when I see a blue bird or a red bird and just watch for a little while. We also used to have a hawk who would come around and perch right on our speed limit sign. I haven't seen him in a while, but I assume he will be back. Plus, our pond has some cranes that hang around. They are interesting to watch, excellent at catching fish. :)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The more that the birds see you, the easier it is. If you become a part of their landscape, then you are fortunate, for it means that you are trusted. Don't give up hope, just stay around them more, and your day will come. Do you feed them?

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 

      2 years ago from Florida

      Your love for birds is always so obvious in all your articles and poems. I love that. It's wonderful to love something so much. I love to watch birds, but they are so fleeting. I try hard to get good pictures of them, but they usually catch a sense of what I am attempting and fly away. That feeling I get when they do is a sad one. lol... It is fun to bird watch though. They are beautiful creatures. I think the prettiest of all nature's occupants, because they are, to me, a symbol of beauty and freedom. :) If you catch that in the lens, or even in a few moments of glance, you feel so lucky!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      People have sent me photos of them on tree stumps that were pretty low to the ground. I guess they're all right with it if they know the area.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      I had one here punching holes in hollow rhubarb stocks for the spiders or other prey therein. Quite a surprise that close to the ground!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Nell! The kids are always out there doing something. Today, a young Great Blue Heron, one of this year's crop, defended his perch from an older Great Egret. They make me proud.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      Hi Deb, I love it! you always hit the nail on the head with how you observe nature, wonderful!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Glad you liked it, Frank. It is dedicated to the nature lover.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      avian, this was actually pretty good.. yeah awesome :)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Gypsy Rose Lee. Just got permission from an area business to use their property. I suspect this spring I'll be coming up with a few birds out of the ordinary.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I was across the creek from him, and when I first saw him, he was in a perfect spot for a shot, but it took too long to switch from binocs to camera.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      A most wonderful nature poem.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      2 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Wonderful poem, Deb! It is not often than I see a pileated woodpecker here and less often that I can get a picture of one. They must have excellent sight as I cannot seem to sneak up on one! Wonderful picture too!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, I am close, agusfanani. Take a look at my bird articles and my blog. You would enjoy the young Green Herons and how they learn about their world.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, MsDora. This is only the second time that I have seen him, and once I heard him another year. It's nearly like a game with some of these birds.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 

      2 years ago from Indonesia

      That's a beautiful poem. I love the way you describe the creature in this poem and only those who have closely interacted with nature can do it.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Seems like a playful encounter between you and the bird since your eyes did meet, and it makes me smile. The poem is beautiful on so many levels.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, I dunno, Mary. I just keep doing what I do.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      2 years ago from New York

      Do you hear that noise? It's the sound of people clapping at the talent and beauty of works by our own Deb. This was a worthy tribute to a noble bird. You just keep getting better and better GF.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You'd have to go north, but they are in CA in coastal areas, Mel. If you head into OR or WA, they will be found with the carpenter ants.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      2 years ago from San Diego California

      Beautiful poem. I would love to see one, but there aren't any in our neck of the woods.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Larry. It was so easy to do, considering the topic.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Well done. Wonderful use of metaphor.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I hope so, Billy, as it is such a good way to teach people about the importance of what surrounds them. Thanks for noticing.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, John! It can be challenging from time to time. You have to take what the birds give you.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I looked for him today, Peg, but no sign. A friend said that he is in the neighborhoods in the area now, so I may just have been lucky. We'll see.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are only going to become better-known in the next few years. Your poetry and articles about nature have made a name for you, and that name will only grow...as it should.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Deb, this is a wonderful poem describing what it's like to be a bird photographer. Perfect.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This one is wonderful, Deb. Sounds sort of Shakespearean in its style and form. And as always, the photo is awesome. You will catch a good photo of this guy next time.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      They are HUGE, manatita, about the size of a crow.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      As you know, whonu, nature is a large part of my life. Thank you.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 years ago from london

      Nice observations; beautiful King. Quite stately.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 

      2 years ago from United States

      Nice tribute to the wild birds my friend. whonu

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