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Old 2020-04-02, 13:56   #86
Dr Sardonicus
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Feb 2017

23·409 Posts

Yesterday I saw a Pileated Woodpecker. I suspect I may have heard it a while back -- I heard a call that reminded me of a kookaburra, and one of the Pileated calls at All About Birds was a closer match that other woodpecker calls.

No mistaking the sighting. Pileated Woodpeckers are approximately crow-sized. The bright red crest helps too.

It is said that Walter Lantz and his new bride were bedeviled by an Acorn Woodpecker on their honeymoon (besides the noise it made, the holes it chiseled out for acorns caused the roof of their cabin to leak), and that this was the original inspiration for Woody Woodpecker. But Woody looks like a Pileated, and his laughing call sounds more like a Pileated than an Acorn Woodpecker.

The Pileated, like the (now long-extinct) Ivory Bill Woodpecker used to be, is sometimes called the Lord God Bird or the Jesus Christ Bird, because of the exclamations inspired by seeing one of them clamped to the side of a tree, hammering away. It's quite a sight!
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