After a lazy Sunday breakfast, my sometimes-popular wife and I were treated to an unusual sight. Behold the magnificent pileated woodpecker as it works over a tree in our front yard, not 15 feet away.
As big as a crow and boldly colored, few species in the birding kingdom can match the beauty of this red-crested woodpecker with the striped head and neck.
I spotted this pileated in our neighbor's yard and summoned my SPW just in time for the bird to swoop toward our house in a quest for delicious, nutritious, protein-rich bugs.
Though it is not rare to see a pileated woodpecker in its natural woodland habitat, it is a shy, solitary bird that tends to avoid human populations. This is not the first time one has winged its way over to McBone manor, but never have we been able to provide photographic evidence.
We thank our friend for spending a solid 15 minutes with us, and invite it to come back anytime to feast on the crunchy, munchy bugs in the old oak tree.