A large Woodpecker startled me today by flying up to the stream while I was enjoying a post-lunch cookie. He took a few sips, then flew off to perch on a large Pine. Turns out they are a Pileated Woodpecker, rare in these parts according to the Merlin bird app. And it turns out that pileated means having a crest that covers the pileum, which in turns means the top of a bird’s head, from the bill to the nape. I don’t know that the red cap here is quite that extensive, but who am I to argue with those who name birds?
The Pileated Woodpecker is about the size of a crow. Just five days ago, a Northern Flicker visited the trough, intimidating the Robin and House Finches that were already splashing around. Northern Flickers are about a third bigger than a Robin, and known as the only Woodpecker that eats ants and other insects on the ground. Almost exactly a year ago, on August 14, 2021, I spotted a tiny Downy Woodpecker on the Dogwood not far from the stream.
Nice! hope I see one of these soon. Mostly we see Flickers and Red-bellied woodpeckers here.