I came home to yet another new desktop photo on our computer screen last week. My husband likes to change them all the time and frankly, I enjoy the variety. After I checked my mail, I told him that I liked the tree branches in his newest offering.
He told me they weren't tree branches.
And I told him that it can't be a bush. It's a tree.
He told me then that it was a bird.
To which I ungraciously said something along the lines of what a great catch he'd gotten.
And then he told me what it was. And I took back everything I just teased him about.
If you look closely in the photo above, the bird is directly in the center.
My husband, as many of you know, is off work on disability because of his illness. He spends his days caring for George, our house, and taking lots of walks. He's also become quite fond of photography and he takes a pretty good photo. Lately, he told me, he's been seeing a Pileated Woodpecker flying by. It always sticks to the same flight path, too and he thinks he knows where it "lives", which is across the road at the end of the driveway in a stand of mature wood there, but he's heard it hammering in the hardwoods that surround the property on which we live.
The other day he happened to have the camera and saw Mr. Woodpecker flying by. It landed in a tree and he raised the camera to begin taking photos when it flew off again. It's an extremely shy bird. He managed only to capture this one single shot, which I've blown up here. We both admit it ain't great in any sense of the word, but it's exciting to know this bird is close by.
The Pileated Woodpecker is a spectacular crow-sized woodpecker with a flaming red crest. My husband knew when he first saw this bird that this was a Pileated because of the great size, sweeping wingbeats and flashing white underwing that identifies this bird in flight.
The Pileated is usually a permanent resident, so hopefully we'll be seeing him again. Some interesting facts, according to Wikipedia about this spectacular woodpecker include:
The Pileated Woodpecker was the model for the cartoon character, Woody Woodpecker.
The sound a Pileated Woodpecker makes when boring a hole into a tree is so loud that it can be heard over long distances.
Pileated Woodpeckers have been known to move their eggs which have fallen off the nest to another location. This is a rare habit in other birds.
A similar bird, the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, was considered extinct for many years until a series of possible sightings that began in 1999 which moved it off that list and onto the critically endangered species list.
And that, my friends, is the lesson for today. I'll keep you posted on any future developments. I'm sure you're waiting with bated breath, too!
Until tomorrow, my friends . . .
Small photo above courtesy of Wikipedia and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.