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PatB

Backyard watcher

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Is it unusual to see a pileated woodpecker in Connecticut?  I've never seen one before and suddenly there is one hanging out in my yard.

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to Whatbird!

Connecticut is definitely in-range for Pileated Woodpeckers. They're fairly uncommon, though, with Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers being more common yard birds.

Aren't they spectacular? I find Pileateds one of the most elegant woodpeckers of North America. @Charlie Spencer can elaborate on that. :classic_smile:

Edited by akandula
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@PatB, welcome!

Yeah, the big guys are cheap thrill, aren't they?  :classic_ohmy:

I'm guessing you live near uncut forest, with some dead trees still standing and others fallen down.  Pileateds eat lots of bugs, especially the ones they can find living in dead wood.  You're as likely to see one hammering on a fallen log as on a standing tree, and I do mean 'hammering'.  There's nothing dainty about how they'll attack bark and wood to get to lunch.  

Here's more info.  Click the 'Listen' link; their call is pretty distinct and an easy one to learn.  To me, they sound a bit like a laughing jackass!   If you are indeed near the moderate to dense forests they prefer, you may hear them more than you see them. 

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Pileated_Woodpecker

If you get interested in woodpeckers, Downys and Red-bellieds  will come regularly to suet feeders, and occasionally you can get Pileateds too.  To add to @akandula, sapsuckers are another woodpecker common to back yards.  

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