I often hear the unique call of a Pileated Woodpecker as they travel through the forest. Yesterday two of these distinctive birds landed on a tree in front of our house. Darla Buechner had one land just off her deck and she got some great photos.
Pileated Woodpeckers eat ants and other insects, drilling away in dead wood. They make rectangular holes, which is unique to them.
You can see pieces of wood to the right of the photo above. This is indicative of a Pileated hard at work.
In the photo above the Pileated is on a granary tree, a snag that Acorn Woodpeckers are using to store acorns in the round holes. Darla thought the Pileated might be stealing the acorns and I guess that could be true. But I think it more likely this bird was snacking on bugs attracted to the acorns.
Thanks to Darla for allowing me to share her photos with you here. To hear the sounds of a Pileated Woodpecker, here is the link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/pileated_woodpecker/sounds
And to see a cavity nest with two juvenile Pileateds taken by Nan Brichetto, here is the link: http://www.mendonomasightings.com/2011/05/31/pileated-woodpecker-feeding-two-babies-a-fantastic-photo-taken-over-the-weekend/