It's always a treat to see a pileated woodpecker, although they are fairly common. This one was right smack in the middle of a neighborhood, near the hospital and the local YMCA.
They are fairly large birds (about the size of a crow) and very flashy. In flight, they follow an undulating path that shows black and white with a red accent. The males have a red stripe on the side of the face, while the females have a black stripe (this one seems to be a female).
I knew she was around because I could hear the search for a new home going on. "Knock? . . . Knock? . . . Knock?" Funny how testing a tree for buildability can sound so questioning.
I started scanning the trees right away. Then I was sure. "Ha ha ha ha ha." (Sound file here, and a very nice picture.)
I grabbed the camera and started stalking. It wasn't easy on my neck, but at least you can tell who this is. Sort of.