There’s just something about a redhead….

winter visitor - pileated woodpecker

Our bountiful snow brought out birds galore to our feeders. We have been visited by cardinals, mourning dove, titmice, chickadees, juncos, house and gold finches, several species of sparrow and all manner of woodpeckers.
This handsome fellow is a pileated woodpecker native to our woods. According to, which has a wonderful website with beautiful photos and videos, ‘the Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest, (16-19 inches long) most striking forest birds on the continent. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest. Look (and listen) for Pileated Woodpeckers whacking at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their main prey, carpenter ants, leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood. The nest holes these birds make offer crucial shelter to many species including swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens.’
They are a shy bird, seldom hanging around our cedars. But during this cold and snowy week, they found our suet cakes – much to the chagrin of the smaller woodpeckers, the downies, hairies, and sapsuckers.
We always get so excited to see them – most of the time they are spotted flying across the road or through the woods. They remind me of what I would think a pterodactyl would look like – they have such a wide wingspan and a swooping flight.
And we have had two visit at the same time – each taking turns hammering away at the suet cake.
What joy these beautiful creatures bring – all part of the course of our seasons!

6 thoughts on “There’s just something about a redhead….

  1. I’ve only encountered a Pileated woodpecker once in the woods. When they peck on a tree, it sounds like somebody is using a hatchet! I watched the wood chips fly as he pecked away.

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