The largest woodpecker on the Mendonoma Coast is the Pileated Woodpecker.

Pileated Woodpeckers are big, as big as a crow. They can be 16.5 inches long with a wingspan of 29 inches. I more often hear these prehistoric-looking birds than see them. One was recently feeding on the ground and Craig Tooley got this photo.

Their favorite food is carpenter ants. But termites are swarming and I'm wondering if that might be what this big bird had found in the ground.

Here is a photo of a female that Craig got another time. Note the lack of red by her beak.

I always feel fortunate when I see a Pileated. Along with hearing their calls, I hear them drumming on snags. They are also unique in that they create rectangular holes while searching for ants.

To hear the calls of a Pileated Woodpecker, here is the link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/pileated_woodpecker/sounds.

To see much more of Craig's nature photography, here is the link to his website: ruffimage.com.
And thanks to Craig for allowing me to share his beautiful photos with you here.

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