Random bird post: Pileated Woodpecker

Moving forward, I think I will simply post blogs at random intervals about birds that I have photographed over the past few months and years.

I thought I would begin with the Pileated Woodpecker (Latin: Drycopus pileatus; en français: grand pic), if only because I have just one acceptable photo of this magnificent bird (if I capture more, I will post them here)!

I have only sporadically seen this bird over the past three decades, but when I do, I normally get quite a show. In one instance, my children and I got to admire a pair of these birds on the street occupied by our former home in one of the highly urbanized areas of Montreal. I discovered why we were so lucky: two of the trees close to our home were quite old and not necessarily in the best of health (both trees were cut down a few weeks or months later) and these birds seemed attracted to old growth forests with dying or decaying trees.

It’s a good sign that some of them seem to be adapting to urban areas. Two of their cousins (the Ivory-billed and Imperial Woodpeckers) were not so lucky and are likely extinct (although some people still hold out hope that we will find the Ivory-billed again in the wild).

The photograph above was taken in May in the Greater Vancouver area, in Whytecliff Park (West Vancouver).

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