A pair of pileated woodpeckers dryocopus pileatus hang out regularly in the vicinity of Lake Chinnabee Recreation Area in the Talladega National Forest, just down the mountain from Cheaha State Park, Alabama’s highest point. These huge birds are nearly as large as a crow and are sometimes mistaken for the ivory-billed woodpecker, believed by many experts to be extinct, making this the largest woodpecker in most of North America. Its loud ringing calls and large rectangular excavations in dead trees reveal its presence in forests across the continent, although try getting close enough to one to get a full frame sharp photograph. They are shy and elusive for the most part, and dip when they fly, making them hard to photograph in flight. I got a few frames of this one Saturday morning, from too far away, across the creek running out of Lake Chinnabee.
© 2011, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.