I lived just eight miles from the Canadian border in North West Montana the first time I saw a Pileated Woodpecker. He was gorgeous. Several times I saw him sitting on the deck railing. I was able to easily observe his brightly colored head and marvel at his size. Of course, I was familiar with the smaller species of woodpeckers having observed them throughout my life, but I had previously never seen a woodpecker as big as the Pileated.
Imagine how excited I was when I began to see Pileated Woodpeckers here on our farm! They have a distinctive call and I often hear them before I see them. Their sound always makes me smile as I look to the sky searching for them.
In the fall and winter, for the last several years, a pair have flown overhead every evening as I am milking. They announce their presence by calling back and forth to each other. They fly over the open fields and pastures to the edge of the woods where, I am sure, their nest must be.
In the summer, I don't see them as much. I am not sure if it is because I am too busy to notice, or if it's because, like farmers, they make seasonal changes in their schedules, allowing our paths to cross on those fall and winter evenings.
(Photo courtesy of Wikepedia)