Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pileated Progeny

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)
Image from Emory University website

I haven't posted in quite a while, mainly because I haven't been outside much in quite a while to observe post-worthy events. Temperatures have been in the mid-90s, the humidity seems like it's matching the temperature, and the mosquitoes are intimidating. We're in the midst of our eighth official heat wave this summer (i.e., three days or longer of 90 degrees or higher). I'm getting cabin fever in the summer.

This morning, I did run across a good friend in the natural area that I frequent. He told me that the natural area's dedicated birders observed an immature Pileated Woodpecker near the creek last Saturday morning, August 7.

We've seen Pileateds sporadically over the years in the natural area, and this year we observed one on a frequent basis. But this is the first evidence of successful breeding in the 22 years I've lived here. The habitat always seemed right, but we could never observe a pair. I guess we still haven't seen a pair, but we've certainly now observed the result of their union.


Ray's Cowboy said...

I hope the weather gets cooler for you. In Texas I has seen some woodpeckers. The noise they make sounds like a hammer allot of times.

Scott said...


When I lived in central Florida, Pileated Woodpeckers were plentiful in suburban neighborhoods--not restricted to "big woods" like they are here in the Mid-Atlantic. I used to have Pileated Woodpeckers hammering on utility poles and street side mailboxes.

Ida said...

I was so pleased to see two male Pileated woodpeckers in my backyard.yesterday..6/6/11.. I was truly suprised as I have only seen one small one last year in our yard.
Those are BIG boys compared to our doves and cardinals... they were the size of a small chicken....lol..

Being from southeast Texas, Lumberton, I thought I had seen alot of our native birds, until yesterday!! What a treat !!!
Ida Falcon

Scott said...

Ida, I was going to make a silly comment about "everything's bigger in Texas--including woodpeckers," but I'm sure you've heard all that before. Like I commented to Ray, I had lots of Pileateds in my central Florida neighborhood when I lived in Lakeland, but here in the northern Piedmont, they're restricted to big, old mature woods.

Rose said...

Well we live in melbourne Fl. an i have seen lots of wood peckers an other birds that feed off the berries in our back yard trees. Recently we heard a strange yell from a bird,a sound we had not heard.So we started looking in the trees an saw this huge bird with a Red head. The biggest Wood Pecker we had ever saw.In fact there is 2 of them. Just saw them yesterday eating in the trees but couldn't get a picture,they hang on the trees moving around.Anyways i looked them up an they are The Pileated woodpeckers. Very Exciting. Rose