You never know what you will find while walking in the woods. On my return adventure to Cougar Mountain Park I took a trail to look at what are called Cave Holes. It was a pretty long way to get to them and then an even longer set of trails to get to Coal Creek waterfall.
Not long after I got through the cave hole area I saw a bird land high up on a tree.
To my delight it was a red-headed woodpecker. He or she was just pecking away. Little did I know he was a red breasted sapsucker. For me this was my first sapsucker sighting. After all these years of rambling around I had never clearly identified one.
Even cooler he was digging for sap not bugs as one would assume a normal woodpecker is doing. Learned a new thing!
I had a serendipity moment last weekend walking back from Fauntleroy Park. I heard the screech of a woodpecker that could only be a Pileated. Last August one visited our bird feeder and I did some research on how he seemed to resemble Woody Woodpecker the cartoon character. Don’t be disappointed but it was the Acorn Woodpecker he was fashioned after. Here is that post for a little more info on the subject. Woody Woodpecker
At first he was off in the distance on a power pole. As I pulled my camera out he flew right onto the pole next to me. Hallelujah!! Here he is posing for me.
Then he started preening and I got this shot for you to enjoy.
What a special visit we had from a Pileated Woodpecker on our tree stump. He pecked his way up the dead wood. One moment he was on the trunk and the next he jumped over to our bird feeder. There he swung from the side and gobbled up sunflower seeds.
If you ever are honored to hear the call of this woodpecker you will think you just were sent back to prehistoric days. It is so primeval and jungle like you will shake your head & ask what is that?
I often thing the Pileated looks like Woody Woodpecker the noisy cartoon character from the 40s. Checking this out on-line I found there is a lot of debate about this. Who would think people would debate Woody Woodpeckers origins!
To my surprised, he is fashioned after an Acorn Woodpecker not a Pileated. I found this post by Julie Zickefoose who tells the real story of Woody. Here is what she said:
It turns out that Walter Lantz, the animator who created Woody Woodpecker, had personally given Garrett a copy of his biography, and in that book it says that Walter and his wife, Grace, while honeymooning in a California cabin, were amused by an acorn woodpecker who was poking nuts under the roof shingles. They liked the “little raucous scream” the bird emitted. Grace said to Walter, “Why don’t you make him into a character?”