Date: 11/1/18 6:46 pm From: Jason Thiele <jasonthiele...> [NEBirds] <NEBirds...> Subject: [NEBirds] Pileated Woodpecker in Cedar County
Today I was scouting a potential oak woodland prescribed burn unit on private land in Cedar County (east of Wynot) with one of my coworkers from the Game and Parks Commission and a forester from the Nebraska Forest Service. While we were walking a firebreak, I noticed a familiar sound from my years out east. I said to my colleagues and the landowner, "Do you know what that is?" Jordan, the forester, grew up in Wisconsin and also recognized it right away - a Pileated Woodpecker! It flew by us twice and gave some decent looks.
It's hard telling how long this bird has been there or if there is a small population of them around, but recent habitat management should improve conditions for it/them. A number of invasive Siberian elms were killed a few years ago, providing a good number of snags, and the landowner has removed a lot of encroaching redcedar, so the oaks and other hardwoods should get a boost.
Of lesser note, but still a nice bonus for the morning, were two Winter Wrens that were heard in the wooded bottoms. And on the flora side, we observed a pasqueflower in bloom! I'm not sure how common this is, but it was a welcome sight amid all the senesced forbs and warm-season grasses!
Please note that this sighting was on private property, and there's not really any way to access it from the public road without trespassing. But recent sightings at Ponca State Park and across the river in South Dakota might mean that more will be seen in this area in the coming years.