Unexpected Ornithology

It goes without saying that Florida has some amazing birds. Even right here on campus you can often spot a Great Egret with its beautiful mating plumage hanging around the lake.
But when Gary came to get me this morning to see THREE Pileated Woodpeckers, now that was unexpected! By the time I got there one had flown away, but still it was amazing. We’d never seen two together and never so near to the ground. They also let us get pretty close without so much as a glance our way. So cool!
They danced around that trunk for several minutes
before they both paused to check out a squirrel that was approaching…
Soon the third bird joined the party (or maybe the competition?). Can you see him ?
He was easier to see when he moved to the next tree (the one with the squirrel!).
We were enthralled watching these birds interact with each other. Given that (according to the All About Birds website) –“ Pileated Woodpeckers are monogamous and hold large territories; it’s rare to see more than two birds together at a time”, it was a great experience. Now that we’ve realized they are part of the neighborhood, we’ve spotted them several more times today and are listening carefully for their distinctive call and pecking.
I’m not going to tell you this is the most amazing video you’ve ever seen, but if you find watching these large woodpeckers mesmerizing (like we did), here’s about 45 seconds of pecking and hopping!

It was a great way to start a Saturday!

2 thoughts on “Unexpected Ornithology”

  1. These are absolutely amazingly beautiful birds….I’ve got a mated pair that live in the woods along my property line….look for square holes in the tree to find their nest.

    Enjoy the rest of your day!

  2. Terry says the Pileated peck around the base of the tree like that, and will eventually kill the tree.
    By the way, the official name is Great Egret.
    Nice to see birds so close, to be able to observe them for a while.

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