Since John and I moved to Vermont, one of the big surprises for us was to learn about the Pileated Woodpecker. Before moving here I had never seen one - actually I am fairly certain that I didn’t know they even existed. Shortly after putting up our feeders here, we saw one fly above us and land on a dead maple tree on our property. It practically took our breath away.
Since then we’ve seen it often, once even landing right in the back of our house where it proceeded to land on the ground, hop over to a dead log and bank the heck out of it while it ate the insects inside.
Rarely have we seen it in the winter, but we wouldn’t have been looking since before owning the store we basically would get up in the morning and head off to ski. So it was even a nicer surprise to be getting stuff in the car to head to the store earlier this week when he (you know it’s a he by the huge red crest on his head) flew right across the road from our house and started making his “kekking” call and then pecking several trees.
A nice way to start a winter day!