Yes ! There she is !
I met Rachel three years ago. I had never seen a Pileated Woodpecker before. Rachel showed up one day, attracted by the peanut butter suet at the birdfeeder. Since that day, we are great buddies.
This is the first picture of Rachel. She was just a baby, her crest was barely visible. Even then, Rachel was as big as my crow friend Topia. Despite her size, Rachel managed to land on the side of the birdfeeder and eat some suet placed in the side pocket. She then flew to a maple tree and wiped her long beak on the bark. We talked for a while. She would be coming back soon.
Time went by and Rachel grew up. Her pink feathers are now vibrant red and she did put a bit of weight on, probably from all the peanut butter suet she eats.
She is even more beautiful. As well as having white feathers on the side of her neck and on her brows, her underwings are also white.
When Rachel comes by, she calls from the deep forest until she reaches the maple tree. Boy ! You know she is on her way when you hear her loud call ! Rachel lives in a cavity of an old pine tree on my territory. She likes to eat insects she finds under the tree bark, specially carpenter ants and she also enjoys seeds, nuts and fruits. I often hear a loud hammering sound and know it's Rachel drumming away. I enjoy hearing that sound and find it comforting because I know she is close by, doing her thing.
One day, Rachel came with a great news, she would soon be a mom.
Please read about Ruadan (pronounced Ro-han), Rachel's son and also my new friend.
Pileated woodpeckers don't migrate. I'm very happy about that because I get to see Rachel all year long. They can live up to nine years, which is also wonderful, as we will be able to share many more years to come.
Our forest is rich with so many wonderful birds and animals. I'm a lucky cat to have such great friends.
Have to go, I hear Rachel's call, she is coming for a visit !