Date: 7/30/20 4:13 pm From: Stuart Sparkman <jacamar29...> Subject: [ia-bird] Pileated Woodpeckers at Cottonwood RA
Harney and I had a great Pileated encounter this morning at the Fishing Pier loop at Cottonwood Recreation Area south of Saylorville Dam (Polk Co.). PILEATED WOODPECKER is not unexpected here. We come to Cottonwood fairly often year-round and probably hear one on almost half the visits, and observe an occasionaly flyover. But great looks like this are much less common. There were two of these birds foraging together about 30 feet up in a pair of large cottonwood trees. I had great, unobstructed looks for at least three minutes at a distance less than 100 feet. They were nearly identical, appearing to both be adult females. This made me curious. Were they really both adult females foraging together for some reason I can't think of, or were one or both of them hatch year birds that by July 30 had grown to have adult appearance, or was it a pair and I just couldn't see the red malar on the male despite looking for it? I suppose the latter is most likely. Anyway, I shouldn't overanalyze and should rather just appreciate such a nice encounter with this majestic bird. On the homefront, our local turkey hen came by again yesterday afternoon with her two rapidly growing poults. They like our unkempt, weedy back yard. It's been fun watching the poults grow over the last couple of months.