We had a visitor!

While I’ve been getting obsessed with spiders and driving visitors shrieking into the night with photographic closeups of my friends, Mary has taken up bird watching, and has set up feeders and water outside our window, so she can watch the flurry of birds who visit every day. Yesterday, a pileated woodpecker stopped by.

I know. So many people would be much happier if I posted only my wife’s photos of birds, but I’ve got to be me.


  1. kingoftown says

    Very cool. I’ve never actually seen a woodpecker in real life before. Their weren’t any in Ireland until around ten years ago when great spotted started recolonising. They were wiped out in the 17th century, presumably due to wood clearance.

  2. robro says

    I’m ok with spiders, but birds are easier to watch. Since we moved to the suburbs, birds have become a part of our life. We sometimes have 20 or 30 birds of 6 or more species in the backyard.

    Speaking of woodpeckers, my wife recently introduced me to acorn woodpeckers. They build “granaries” by drilling holes in dead trees which they stuff with acorns…lots of acorns around here. We visited a granary in an open space reserve near us with an amazing number of holes in an old dead tree. Phenomenal amount of work.

    PS: We have plenty of spiders in and around the house, and there were some amazing spider webs in that mixed oak and bay tree open space. And then there’s the fungi.

  3. says

    We have them in Connecticut, and one of them was hanging out in my neck of the woods a couple of years ago. But what does “pileated” mean?

  4. Jazzlet says

    Mary is dedicated spreading suet on the branches, but so worth the effort.

    The first woodpecker I saw was lesser spotted, brought in by one of our cats when I was a child. The serious bird watchers in my family were not</> happy, I was just fascinated to get a close look at the plumage.

  5. Bruce Fuentes says

    We see a pileated about once a week or so on our feeders. If you have never seen one before you will be very impredded wth how big they are. Most of the wood peckers we get are Hairy’s and Downys. Hairys are decent size too, to about 10″ or so, but Pileateds are massive.

  6. bsr0 says

    The only time I saw one of those was when I was on a winter trip with friends in extreme northern Wisconsin about twenty years ago. We came out of our B&B and we were putting luggage in the car. Suddenly wood chips began raining down on us. I looked up and saw this giant woodpecker just hammering away at the trunk of a huge pine. The temperature had to be around 0 Fahrenheit, and it struck me how hard that wood must be at that temperature, and then how much harder that bird’s beak had to be to chisel chunks of it out!

    Never seen one since, but I keep looking and hoping – they are a striking sight!

  7. daved says

    I grew up very near the Cornell University ornithological lab, and there are a number of pileated woodpeckers in the area. I saw one when I was in second grade; it was sitting on the stump of a tree that our neighbors had just cut down. Amazing how this kind of memory sticks with you.

  8. methuseus says

    I do prefer bird pictures, but I’m fascinated by the spider info you share, even if I have a bit of phobia. I know you know this, but always be yourself