Pileated Woodpecker in McCarthy Woods

I went out for a walk this afternoon after working in my room all day, and wow, was it cold when I stepped outside (-35 degrees Celsius and frostbite warning, apparently)!  I went to a forest near by called McCarthy Woods, and saw a large murder of crows, one nuthatch, some chickadees, a few squirrels, and caught a glimpse of a woodpecker flying away.  It was so cold that I had no motivation to take out my camera from my backpack and take pictures.

It wasn't until near the end of my walk when I heard something knocking on a tree near me.  I looked around until I realized there was a Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) on the tree right next to me.  I was very excited because this will be my first time properly seeing and photographing a Pileated Woodpcker (if I don't scare it away first).  My previous attempts at photographing this species are pretty pathetic, if I must say so, for example this and this.  So I slowly and stiffly (from the cold) took out my camera and snapped away.

Right on top of me.

Another angle.

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)
Wood chip in its beak.

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)
As you can see, it made several holes already.

Pecking away.

There were eight attempts in total.  Pileated Woodpeckers’ primary food is ants, and they dig broad and deep rectangular holes in trees to find ants.  I wonder if ants are surviving at this temperature.

The woodpecker was still at it when I had enough of the cold and headed back.  Definitely a survivor.


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