Pileated Woodpecker

I was sitting out back a few days ago when I heard this repetitive pop, pop, pop, pop above my head. When I looked up into the trees in the lot next to my house, I saw a few woodpeckers hard at work on a tall pine tree. I had seen a pile of bark at the base of the tree, but hadn’t yet put two and two together. This tree was dead and filled with bugs, a wonderful buffet for the woodpeckers. This tree also needed to be reported to the city, too close to my house for comfort.

This bird appears to be a female Pileated Woodpecker. Crow-sized, she has the triangulate crest on the top of her head but I don’t see the red cheek stripe of the male. These woodpeckers like large, standing dead trees, in which they can drill for carpenter ants and other insects.