A few weeks ago, I decided to explore a familiar wooded area located only a few miles from home. I didn’t have any particular goal in mind other than to enjoy a rainy afternoon in the company of blooming plants and trees.
Two hours of botanizing had passed before I headed back to the trailhead, fully satisfied having observed oaks, birches, and beeches in flower.
Just before I could complete my hike, however, I was suddenly alerted to a peculiar commotion emanating from the canopy. I instinctively turned around to look at an American beech tree, and upon doing so I discovered something quite remarkable: a pileated woodpecker nest, replete with an adult male and two juveniles.
With curiosity and amazement, I observed the adult woodpecker as he regurgitated insects and fed his hungry sons. The whole ordeal lasted for only a minute before the adult departed and the juveniles retreated back into their nest.
Rather than snap a few photographs and end the interaction there, I decided to visit the nest every day until the juveniles left.
Two weeks later, I was utterly transformed by the entire experience.
In the following video, I discuss my rewarding observations and emotion-rich encounters with these beautiful birds.
If you’ve never experienced an active pileated woodpecker nest up close, this is your chance to do so.