Walking to school (part-way) yields wildlife photos

Hi all, I am back in Ontario (since last Thursday, actually).  For the past three days, rather than just busing to school and then work for several hours, I decided to exercise a bit by walking a part of the way to school, especially when the weather has been quite nice lately - chilly but sunny.

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) or maybe Hairy?
On Tuesday, I wasn't having much luck seeing wildlife until I saw this woodpecker pecking underneath the bark.  I actually saw a similar one at the same tree last month (but it was too cloudy and so I didn't post about it).  Initially, I thought it was a Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) but now that I have taken a closer at the beak-to-head ratio, I am not so sure anymore, especially because the photo is taken at an angle. 

Yesterday I didn't saw much, except for this noisy American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) claiming its territory.  In fact, I heard several other squirrels responding once it started making its sound.  It looks very similar to the Douglas Squirrel found in BC, but they are geographically separated by the Rockies.  It is only about half the size of the chubby Eastern Grey Squirrels also running around in the woods.

This morning, I heard and then saw this Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) in a forest on the side of the road.  I quickly grabbed my camera and took several photos through the branches before it flew away.  I have yet gotten a "good" photo of PIWO, darn it!

Male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
In the midst of brown vegetation and blue sky, this beautiful red male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) was very easy to spot, along with his female partner.

Taking a crack at guessing this as a Purple Finch, but I may or may not be correct.  Handsome bird, nonetheless.

As long as the weather continues to be nice, I think I will add this walk/wildlife-finding into my daily routine, otherwise I think I would become a very dull and unfit boy by the end of the semester.

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