On a late February day, we were enjoying the beautiful trail that follows Highland Creek.
The group was alerted to the presence of a pileated woodpecker by the loud, rising and falling call. We also heard a continuous almost barking sound which I had never heard before.
Happily Ken Sproule was able to get these wonderful, close-up photos.
Small woodlots are not large enough for these big birds: they require at least 100 acres of forest.
Our bird is a male as you see by the red “mustache” marks.
They make large holes in a very short time in their search for insect larvae and other food.
The word “pileated” comes from “pileus” which was a pointed or close-fitting cap worn by ancient Romans. The word can be pronounced as either “pylius” or “pillius.”