We had a special visitor today– a Pileated Woodpecker. These are just great birds to view. I have to say I see bald eagles more often than I see this particular woodpecker. This maybe my fourth or fifth viewing, and the others were not this up close and most were when we lived in Missouri nearly twenty years ago where the holes being pecked out of wood were from my house.
He (this is a male; the female has a grey forehead that turns to red further back) landed on the bird feeder on my back porch and pecked at the suet on this side of the feeder once but was more interested in the the suet block on the far side of the feeder. I took twenty photos, but the bird moved so fast I mostly got blurred images or only tail feathers as he bent over the far side of the feeder to eat suet. That bill looks dangerous, doesn’t it? Good for chopping wood.
The bird sites say these woodpeckers are about the size of crows, but the crows in this area are not this large or impressive. They live year round in much of the eastern United States, but also inhabit areas in lower Canada. Obviously they can face our cold winters. If your want to know more, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology site gives more about information about Pileated Woodpeckers.
I hope he comes to visit again. Six more packages of suet sit in a cabinet and we will buy more if he keeps visiting.