Wow!  In my walk in Forest Park this morning I was shocked and amazed to hear and then see a Pileated Woodpecker!  They are not at all expected in Queens, and though I have seen Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and Northern Flickers in Queens I had never spotted a Pileated Woodpecker in New York City, much less in Forest Park. Not only that, but I managed to get a decent picture!

What’s more amazing is that I went through eBird’s records and there are no records of Pileated Woodpecker from Queens at all, though Bull’s Birds of New York State says that there was a female, found by Bernarth in Forest Park in December, 1981.  The bird stuck around until May of 1982 and I’ve apparently found the first one since.  What a way to start a day and the month of April!

Bonus: Some great video of a Pileated Woodpecker can be seen here.

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.