Sometimes you just get lucky!
For the past six years I have been fortunate enough to have a Pileated Woodpecker periodically roosting in a Sycamore tree not more than 40 yards from my house and easily visible from my living room window. Pretty lucky and definitely cool!
As Pileated Woodpeckers pair bond for life and hold a year round territory, my roosting Pileated and its mate visit my Tail Prop suet feeder almost daily…often at the same time. Very lucky and really cool!
But my luck reached its peak this spring as my Pileated pair decided to excavate their nest in a second sycamore located right next to the original roost tree. Needless to say, the yard work has suffered greatly as most of my outdoor “chore” time has been spent watching their captivating nesting activity.
Over the Memorial Day weekend it became obvious that the three nestlings were about to fledge. The young had obtained their juvenal plumage and sat teetering on the rim of the nest hole, vocalizing cheap imitations of their parents stronger calls.
Hoping to catch the main event, I set up a Vortex Razor spotting scope on the edge of my driveway to watch every detail and armed myself with the camera on my iPhone in hope of recording the nestling’s departure.
You could say this is where my luck failed me!
After three days of almost constant surveillance, the youngsters still called the sycamore home as the sun set on Memorial Day. And yes, as you have probably already guessed, they were gone by the time I returned home from work on Tuesday night!
I may have missed the big show…but what a privileged weekend I had being able to totally immerse myself into the world of this Pileated family. A true “How cool is that!” experience and one that I would like to try to share with you.
To give you a feel for what I was observing, I have posted a video clip of Momma Pileated feeding her young at the nesting cavity.
Pretty cool! And even though they have fledged, it’s not the end of the story.
Since the three juveniles will stay with their parents in their home territory for most of the summer, I am hoping to witness one more big show – the sight of five Pileated Woodpeckers making repeated visits to the suet and peanut feeders in my backyard!
Wish me luck!