A rare sighting

It’s rare for me to see one Pileated Woodpecker, let alone two Pileateds at once.  But when you do see two woodpeckers together at this time of year, you might be lucky enough to see this!

Mr. Pileated cautiously approaches his lady love.

Mr. Pileated cautiously approaches his lady love.

No foreplay here, just let me jump on your back.

No foreplay here, the male just jumps on her back.  The male sports a red mustache; the female’s facial stripe is black.

The all-iimportant transfer of sperm might have taken as much as 2 seconds.

The all-important transfer of sperm might have taken as much as 2 seconds.

Now this female can go lay her eggs in the nest hole she and her mate excavated in a nearby snag.

Now this female can go lay her eggs in the nest hole she and her mate excavated in a nearby snag.

The Pileated Woodpecker pair stays together all year, defending a territory in a particular area containing suitable dead wood.  They create new nest holes each year, leaving the old ones for other tree-nesting species.  Sometimes their excavations are so large and so vigorous they actually topple the top of the snag right off.

4 thoughts on “A rare sighting

  1. Two seconds? Yikes. Nice action shots, Sue. I am still in search of a Pileated Woodpecker. I hear them from time to time, but have yet to see one on a tree (I saw one flying away).

    • If you hear them, you are in their territory, so keep wandering around there, and you should spot them some time. Good luck!

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