There’s a pileated woodpecker, hammering happily in the neighbor’s pine tree this morning. ??
No, that isn’t it at the top of this page. But if you didn’t know what a pileated woodpecker looks like in flight, now you do!
I tried to get a good, close photo of him, but he flew off. ?
He came back minutes after I left and remains there now, hammering and eating. He’s bigger than a parrot with a bright tomato red head! ?
Here in bird paradise, we get the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. In Mississippi the red-bellied and red-headed woodpecker and the northern flicker frequently usurp the cavities of red-cockaded woodpeckers for nests or roosts. The average age of a tree housing a red-cockaded woodpecker nest is about one hundred years, because the birds depend on having the heartwood of the tree softened by a fungus that begins to enter the tree through broken branch stubs a decade or two earlier. The red-cockaded woodpecker plays many positive roles within its ecosystem, destroying insect pests and creating nest sites for more than fifty other animals.