Thursday, February 21, 2008

Birds From a Cariboo Deck No.7: Pileated Woodpecker

This is the big one around here - and reputedly the inspiration for Woody Woodpecker: not just in its looks: the calls we hear when they make their way, sometimes as many as four at a time, through the woods towards our chief attraction - suet - are pretty close to that irritating call of the cartoon version.

I say this is "the big one" but that status is among the woodpeckers. One of my most impressive backyard sites was a Sharp-Shinned Hawk chasing a Pileated Woodpecker through the fir trees: like a scene from Star Wars.

For an interesting perspective on the part this woodpecker plays in the forest ecology, read Woodpeckers, Fir Snags and Hummingbirds by Dave Neads. I chose the Pileated Woodpecker as No.7 to coincide with his publishing of this post.

For more on Cariboo birds, see my Birds from a Cariboo Deck

1 comment:

Sam said...

I was pleased when I ran across your blog and saw the the pileated woodpecker. I used to have two pair in my yard all the time. And it's hard to explain to people who have no idea what they are like, their size, their flight, and their calls. Thank you for sharing your photos.