It was a gray wet day today, with off and on rain through the day. Sophie and I went out this morning during a pause in the rain, and I noticed a spot of brilliant red way up in the big pine tree.

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It was a Pileated Woodpecker, a very large woodpecker–16 1/2 inches long, with a 29 inch wing span. I’ve seen Pileated Woodpeckers a few times before, but not very often, so I was excited to spot this one. Here it is hanging from a branch as it pecks at the wood.

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Moving around toward the top of the branch.

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These photos were taken from quite a distance, plus the weather conditions weren’t great–sunshine and blue skies would have been easier! But I did manage to get some photos where you can at least tell what kind of woodpecker it was.

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Male Pileated Woodpeckers have a red forehead extending down between their eyes and a red “moustache” stripe–this bird has neither so it’s a female.

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A little pecking.

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And a pause to check the branch.

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The woodpecker moved over to perch behind another branch before it flew away.

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