They made our morning

I spotted a Pileated Woodpecker a couple of years ago, chiseling the half rotten log I used as a flower border.   I was so excited since it was the first time I saw it in our garden.  We have plenty of other woodpeckers: Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied and Northern Flicker.  They are frequent visitors to our garden, especially the Downy where I often spot four or five at the same time chasing each other around the yard.  The Pileated Woodpecker is a different story.

Mom's preening on the higher branch

They are a crow-sized woodpeckers and have a similar look to the extinct Ivory-billed woodpecker, but very shy, so a mere glimpse of me and they would fly away.  The first one I spotted came back a few times after that, until our neighbors’ dog barked at it one morning.  Gone.  I had seen one fly over my head once or twice after that.  As much as I left dry tree trunks around on purpose to draw them in, they never showed up.  Other woodpeckers enjoy them instead.  Until this morning.

I was out in the garden doing my usual stuff, watering, weeding, having my coffee and enjoying the bird songs in orchestra.  Then something big flew over my head and landed on one of the trees in the yard.  I looked up to see three Pileated Woodpeckers… Three of them!  My lucky morning.  Now I will have to figure out how to get back in the house to get the camera without chasing them away.  I walked around the house to the front but as soon as I turned the corner, they were just right there in full view.  So, I walked back and tiptoed close to the house, but as soon as I got under the patio roof, I ran inside and grabbed the camera.

After I took a couple of shots and saw that they were still drilling the tree trunk, I ran back in the house and dragged Bill out of bed.  I knew he would love to see them  since he was so disappointed when I saw the first one and all he got to see was the photo.

Two kids are on the tree trunk below

It was a great morning.  A mother Pileated Woodpecker took her kids around, one male and one female.  We are so happy that there will be a next generation of them in the neighborhood despite people building more and more houses in this area, destroying their habitat.  What would happened if we didn’t live in the watershed area?  Even now, people are trying to bend the rules and finding loopholes so they can cut down more trees and build more houses in this area. Who cares about protecting a source of water  and keeping it clean when they can get bottled  water, right.

I’m glad that they are around, not just the one I saw a few years ago but a family.  Now, I’m debating whether I should put a larger suet up for them even though I know the Black birds will chug down most of it.