The Dinosaur in My Yard


My Pileated Woodpecker friend (Dryocopus pileatus) continues to visit the Birdcam suet station.  For some reason, I am only seeing a male bird and I assume it is the same fellow each time.  Males have a red mustache and forehead.  These parts are black in the female.  I don't know if he is a bachelor or if his mate is simply too shy to visit the yard.  Perhaps she is busy with nesting duties.  I hope he is not a bachelor.  Pileateds are monogamous and non-migratory.  I believe he nests in the Red Alder woods across the road.  I hear him calling and drumming there.


I have an endless fascination with these beautiful birds.  The first time I spotted one visiting the yard, for some reason, I knew I was home.  I was exactly where I was supposed to be.  More than other local birds, observing them reveals their dinosaurian heritage.  When I see them gliding through the trees, I think of a flying reptile.  They look just like Rodan.  Their eyes belong to the velociraptors in Jurassic Park.  That image is not lost when they hop and scamper effortlessly up and down the sides of Douglas Firs.  Their calls echoing in the woods bring to mind what a Jurassic forest might have sounded like.

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