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

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!

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