Date: 7/30/20 4:13 pm
From: Stuart Sparkman <jacamar29...>
Subject: [ia-bird] Pileated Woodpeckers at Cottonwood RA
Hey I-Birders,

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.

Good Birding,

Stuart Sparkman
NW Des Moines

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