Thursday, March 24, 2016

Um, Um, Good!

Thunk, Thunk, Thunk-thunk echoed from a tree along the river, and then it stopped. Thunk, Thunk-thunk, Thunk  it began again. And there on a branch, was a pileated woodpecker hammering away at the limb. It was a female with her black “mustache”. She kept working on the branch for a while, then flew to the trunk of a nearby tree, but never gave a clear view or moved completely out of the shadows.

More thunking sounded from a tree closer than the one on which the female landed. This emanated from a male (bearing the red “mustache” sported by male pileateds), leading to the conclusion that this was almost certainly a mated pair.

He was feeding at a limb on a riverside silver maple, rapidly gulping insects as he extracted them from the wood –

Carpenter ants, which live in both live and dead trees, are a favorite food of pileated woodpeckers. In watching the video of this male he certainly seemed to be feeding on ants –
Pileated woodpeckers are usually quite wary, but this bird was so preoccupied with his meal that he ignored me as I turned and slowly walked away.


The Furry Gnome said...

I've never seen pictures of a Pileated that good! Awesome!

Turn The Page said...

Beautiful. I love the pileated woodpecker. Frequent visitor to my woods.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Lovely! They are splendid birdies. I'm hoping to see them in West Virginia this weekend.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, beautiful photos and video. The Pileated Woodie is a gorgeous bird. Great post. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

betty-NZ said...

What a lovely creature! His distinct features are incredible!