Knock Knock…Who’s there?..Woody…Woody who? Woody Woodpecker..Uh Ah a Uh Ah..Uh Ah a Ah Uh…With that boisterous call, this famous woodpecker, created in 1940, was launched onto the world's TV stage by none other than the late Walter Lantz. He still remains one of my favorite cartoon characters. Who cannot love Woody? When the Editor and I built our home we sat on our front patio and watched two large Pileated Woodpeckers land and scurry round and round one of the large hickory trees in the front yard. We then just had to get a Piliated Woodpecker print framed from our favorite bird artist, Art LaMay of Palm Coast Florida. And so a special appreciation has developed in our home for this boisterous bird from that day forth. We saw the same pair again on our first Christmas morning.
When my friend Jack Rogers told me about a Piliated Woodpecker nest with babies not too far from here I just had to go photograph them. Per the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology “The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest, 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.” No wonder they liked our property..we have lots of carpenter ants around here.
“Pileated Woodpeckers are mostly black with white stripes on the face and neck and a flaming-red crest. Males have a red stripe on the cheek. In flight, the bird reveals extensive white underwings and small white crescents on the upper side, at the bases of the primaries. Pileated Woodpeckers drill distinctive rectangular-shaped holes in rotten wood to get at carpenter ants and other insects. They are loud birds with whinnying calls. They also drum on dead trees in a deep, slow, rolling pattern, and even the heavy chopping sound of foraging carries well. Their flight undulates like other woodpeckers, which helps separate them from a crow’s straight flight path. “ If you are on facebook see this video of a Pileated excavating a large tree trunk. https://www.facebook.com/haberinbizdencom/videos/549979268493136/
I visited the nest twice, about a week apart. On the first visit I saw two small pair of beaks peek out for a little when the parents came to feed. This past weekend, however, they were poking their lil red heads way out and calling for Mom and Dad. As of this reading I am told both lil pecker heads have fledged and left the nest. Click on photos below for full screen views. Hope you are blessed outta your socks..Harry