Birding the Okefenokee: Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker in the Okefenokee Swamp
Pileated Woodpecker; Okefenokee Swamp Georgia. March 13, 2019. Please don’t steal my work. Legally use my photo by downloading at Dreamstime.com.

A loud call breaks the warm, still afternoon air. “Are there monkeys in the Okefenokee Swamp?”, my young daughter asks. “No. That’s a bird”, I tell her. “Watch over there.” In a moment, a flaming red crest appears from behind the trunk of the tree, peering in our direction as it searches another soft spot in the bark to hunt for an insect meal.

“The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest” says Cornell’s wonderful website.

I’ve come across several Pileated Woodpeckers in the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia; more often hearing them than seeing them. But a few in particular have given me the privilege of a swamp photo session!


Read more Okefenokee Adventures at William Wise Photography.

eBird checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S53914222

iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/21592342

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m conservation photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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