Pileated Woodpecker . . .
In the new and deep snow on the ground where he dropped the block of suet.
The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest breed of woodpecker in the United States .. I would say that the pair living in my woods are about the size of a raven .. very big. This is the first year they have decided to make my yard their home. I enjoy watching them and find some of their stunts amazing and others annoying … ie: they know how to open up my suet cage and take out the whole block. Thus making them a bit annoying, too. They are also pecking some of the younger trees to the point I am not sure they will survive.
Pileated woodpeckers are commonly mistakenly called a “red-headed” woodpecker .. which they are not. The red on the head is obvious and bright, but they are not “red headed” woodpeckers. They are called “pileated” woodpeckers. It makes sense if you know that “Pileated” means “crest” and the crest on their heads is very red. The whole head and neck is red on a “red-headed” woodpecker (which do not live in my area).
Hairy woodpeckers are numerous in my yard this winter (working on getting a picture). They like to peck on the log corners of my house, it sounds like someone knocking at the door. Hairy woodpeckers are small black and white birds with a small dot of red at the back of their head. Not sure why they are called “Hairy” although the feathers on their bellies do look very soft and fluffy. Woodpecker names are very confusing as there is also a “red bellied” woodpecker .. who has no red on its belly, just a stripe down the back of its head. And, Flickers are considered woodpeckers, too.