Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pileated Sighting!

Just two days after writing in my previous post, "We've never seen a pileated woodpecker here," I saw one in flight this morning, probably no more than four blocks away, flying right over my head as I drove to work. Okay, it wasn't actually on our property or at our feeders, but there is hope. A friend who lives less than half a mile from me has reported seeing one regularly at her feeders as well.

How did I know I was seeing a pileated woodpecker in flight? Though I couldn't see the red crest on its head, it was virtually unmistakable: a large black bird (nearly as big as a crow) with a large white area bordered with black on the underside of each wing. Here's a nice video I found on YouTube. The bird I saw was flying overhead, not this low, but you can see the markings plainly, as well as the flap-glide pattern of flight I saw today.


Dan Tallman said...

Do birds count on your yard list if you are in the yard but the birds are not? :-)

Penelopedia said...

Dan - I've heard yard lists defined as what you have seen while you are in your yard -- including overhead geese, eagles, etc. Maybe they would include what you have heard, as well, if you can identify by call. So if I see the pileated while I'm on my property, I'll count it! But I would sure love to see one at our suet log.

Bob said...


Be prepared to provide a lot of suet if pileated woodpeckers find your feeder. A pair at ours consumes about a pound a week. Yesterday one retrieved fallen bits on the ground while the other hammered away at the mother lode.

BTW: I found your blog when Dan Tallman mentioned it in an MOUnet post. Please take a look at mine and add it to your list of Minnesota nature blogs if it meets your standards:
Test Your Nature Knowledge:
nature puzzles http://robertbystrom.com



Penelopedia said...

Bob - Thanks for the note. If a pileated should honor us with its presence, I would gladly invest in more suet! Thanks for info about your blog, too -- it's been a while since I've updated my blogroll, so this will be a good reason to do so.