Photo: Spectacular woodpecker feeling peckish

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Our photo of the day reveals the splendors of a pileated woodpecker.

Our photo of the day, taken by thebutterknife, arrived in the TreeHugger Flickr pool without much identifying information – but who needs a caption when you have such a super shot? Going from the bark, we're guessing the tree is an American sycamore, so we assume this was taken in the eastern part of the country. And this strikingly handsome bird is easy enough to identify as a male pileated woodpecker. Isn't he a beauty? The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has this to say about the species:

"The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest. Look (and listen) for Pileated Woodpeckers whacking at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their main prey, carpenter ants, leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood. The nest holes these birds make offer crucial shelter to many species including swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens."

What a catch.

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