There were two Pileated Woodpeckers in a Live Oak tree above my head, picking through the Spanish Moss and Resurrection Fern. The vegetation looks lovely in the tree, but sure limits photography of birds.
I never saw what they were eating but it appeared to be berries or nuts, and no pecking was going on.
It is likely this was an adult teaching a juvenile as a few times the younger looking one was just watching then got fed.
One came out into the open just before they flew off.
Not far from where I saw a Pileated Woodpecker wreaking havoc on the boardwalk to the swamp last week I heard the impressive tat-tat-tat again. This youngster was frozen in place in a nearby tree and clearly not the origin of the percussion.
He flew a little higher just as I spotted the adult again assaulting the underside of the boardwalk railing.
The adult flew up to the fledgling and started feeding him some regurgitated material.
The chick stuck to his spot and the adult flew off and returned several times, daintily offering the juvenile food.
The feeding process was very calm, especially compared to the egrets and herons I had just been watching.
Without any fuss this Pileated Woodpecker flew into a tree above my head as a few folks were gathered to watch the Great Blue Herons nesting. His “do” would suggest he might be shocked, too.
Photographing birds over your head is not the ideal situation and perhaps not the best view of the bird but this angle shows off his impressive beak.
He didn’t do any drilling or even poke around the tree, just sat there for about five minutes. The few tourists passing underneath him didn’t capture his attention. There were a few Red Shouldered Hawks patrolling the area behind us and maybe he was hiding. He left as quick as he came with no noise, back the way he had come.