Photo by Vicki's Nature, Flickr. CC License.
Last night our heatwave finally broke, and this morning we woke to fresh, cool sunny weather. The calm was pierced by the raucous cry of a large bird. I peered out from the screened porch and saw our resident male pileated woodpecker on a nearby tree. What a sight! Marcia Bonta describes the pileated to be like a miniature pterodactl, not a bad comparison. It is the largest woodpecker. The pileated is also a loud bird. Ms. Bonta's description: "Pileateds are also the big mouths of the woodpecker world, their demonic-sounding laughter echoing from ridgetop to ridgetop as they keep in touch with their lifelong partners. In addition, both male and female pileateds are master drummers, and frequently proclaim their dominion over the territory that they hold until they die. And, when one or the other partner does die, the surviving mate holds on to their territory and waits for another mate to appear."