Last week I was home waiting for the big snowstorm to hit, when I heard a knocking...no, it was more like someone was using a hammer! We don't have any houses going up right now so I knew it was a woodpecker. The windows on the back of the house are in the "treetops," 30 feet up on the first floor and 40+ feet if you are looking out the second floor windows. It didn't take very long to spy him, a HUGE woodpecker tap, tap, tapping away on an oak tree that's nearly 100 foot tall.
I knew immediately it was a Pileated Woodpecker, he was HUGE, as big as a crow! I tried to get some shots of him while he was intent on drilling away at the tree searching for insects.
Wikipedea says, "The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in America. Adults are mainly black with a red crest and a white line down the sides of the throat. They show white on the wings in flight. Adult males have a red line from the bill to the throat, in adult females these are black. The call is a wild laugh, similar to the Northern Flicker. Its drumming can be very loud, often sounding like someone striking a tree with a hammer. This bird favors mature forests, but has adapted to use second-growth stands and heavily wooded parks as well."
He would work on one tree and then fly to another, his wingspan was nearly 2 feet!
Probably the best shot, you can see the stripes on his face and the white feathers blazing down his chest.
I am not an experienced photographer, but with practice I hope to get better. I zoom in too close and then take the shot just before the camera has a chance to recover. I was also pee my pants excited to see this bird! We are so lucky to live here in the woods. Right now the Bald Eagles are hatching their young only a few coves over from us. Hobbs State Park does pontoon cruises in February for those who have "Polar Bear Blood!" That wouldn't be me. Highs in the 20's, but you can subtract 20 degrees for wind chill...I just can't do it! The Arkansas Democrat Gazette does great articles on the Bald Eagles every year. We have Albino (Leucestic) eagles that are seen every year and some of the eagles have decided to be year round residents, lucky us!
*Just noticed some of you have commented thinking he was pecking our house...no, just the big trees that surround us. We have brick and cement siding so we are safe. Thanks for worrying about us!