Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Welcome Return Visitor: The Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker at a Suet FeederAfter multiple visits per day last spring, our resident Pileated Woodpecker vanished. We couldn't imagine a hawk or cat had gotten him; Pileateds are, after all, the size of a crow and pretty intimidating birds (secretly, I feared a kid with a BB gun or even a McMansion owner on the other side of the park had mistakenly taken a shotgun to him, blaming the big woodpecker for damage to homes and trees). But we neither saw nor heard the Pileated or the female we'd seen with him a couple of times after May.

A couple of days ago, I thought I might have heard a Pileated back in the woods; I wasn't sure at first and decided it could have been a Northern Flicker. However, today we got confirmation that the Pileated had returned when I spotted first a female sitting atop a seed feeder (and that is a bit odd--the woodpecker was actually eating seeds), then the male on the big suet feeder across the yard.

We're really happy to see that the Pileateds made it through the summer and fall okay and are looking forward to having them back in the yard at Chateau Papillon again!

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