Pileated Woodpeckers
The Return
Feb. 20, 2011

Pileated woodpeckers are magnificent crow-sized birds and a real treat to see at a suet feeder.

The first photo documents that we have at least three pileated woodpeckers in the area, since they cooperated enough to be visible on a tree, as seen from the backyard.

Three pileated woodpeckers

The topmost and bottommost pileateds are easy to see, but the third is somewhat obscured. He's in a crevice on the left side of the tree, about a third of the way up, with only his face visible.

Pileated woodpeckers are relatively easy to sex. The difference is in the bird's mustache (or in line with the woodpecker's bill), which is black, as on the female below.

Ms. pileated woodpecker on suet

What I assume to be an immature male pileated is next. His mustache is faintly red.
Young male pileated woodpecker

A mature male pileated woodpecker has a brilliant red mustache.
Mr. pileated woodpecker

Not much doubt with the fellow above (and don't I wish that I arranged bird feeders more carefully, so as not to obscure the view).

Photo note: I used a Pentax K20D, with the SMC-DA 55-300mm lens, for photos 1, 3, and 4, and with the Sigma 150-500mm lens for photo 2, all taken in January and February 2011.

My Pennsylvania bird list

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