"Woody Woodpecker" was one of my favorite childhood cartoons. I can vividly remember one summer when Mama let me send away for a Woody Woodpecker toy from the back of a cereal package. I raced to the mailbox every day for weeks until finally it arrived! (And it wasn't nearly as cool as I thought it would be, of course.)
Woody's character is based on a pileated woodpecker. I've seen them from a distance a few times, but I'd never had an up close encounter with one until yesterday at Mama's house.
This one is a male...you can tell by the red stripe by its beak. Female pileateds have a black stripe instead.
For your bucket of bird trivia...
About 18" or so long, pileated woodpeckers are the largest woodpeckers on the North American continent.
They eat bugs out of tree trunks, especially loving carpenter ants which tunnel deep into the wood. So pileated woodpeckers often make big holes to find their food.
I can tell this is not the first visit this fella has made to this old pine tree stump...look at all those holes!
Mama and I enjoyed watching his antics from her living room window.
A thrill for me to photograph a real life...