This is a male Pileated Woodpecker. You can tell he is male from the complex expression of boredom and impatience on his face as he waits for the female to come and take her turn on the nest.

He could have spent his time constructively, re-shaping the nesthole to better conform to the “oval” description of popular guidebooks. Perhaps he might have spruced the place up a bit. Whatever!

I am deducing that there may be eggs in the nest. The male seemed keen to be away from the hole, popping his head out to investigate any noise in the hope that the female might have returned to relieve him of this tiresome shift. He was reluctant to go though as if his sense of duty had trumped his low capacity for responsibility. When she did return, she brought no food with her for growing peckerlets. The male ducked back inside the hole.

He could be seen through the entrance, thrashing around inside. If Pileated Woodpeckers are anything like Lady Helen and myself, he had been caught unawares with the place in a mess and was frantically trying to tidy up in an attempt to limit the tongue-lashing that he probably deserved. He launched himself from the entrance.

He obviously didn’t want to stick around and endure the cold, bitter silence during dinner and scarpered before she started telling him about her day.

Lady Helen has an expression similar to this one. It is an appeal to a higher authority to help her stay calm when her mother says “I told you so!”


Written by Redgannet
Redgannet has been working for over 33 years as a crew member/flight attendant and enjoys the well-ventilated air of the outdoors. The nom de blog, Redgannet, was adopted to add an air of mystery and to make himself more attractive to women. His father first whetted Redguga's appetite for all things natural by buying him his first pair of 7x35s and a copy of Thorburn's Birds. Having no mentor beyond an indulgent parent, he spent the first season hoping for an Egyptian Vulture at the bird table in his English garden. His most memorable birding moment is seeing an Egyptian Vulture with those same binoculars 26 years later. Redgannet is married to Canon, but his heart and half of his house belongs to Helen and their son Joseph. He is looking forward to communicating with people who don't ask if he is searching for the "feathered variety" of bird.