Imagine my surprise this morning as I was pulling up to a red traffic light on the corner of East and Spruce Streets in Oneonta, when I spotted a Pileated Woodpecker, ten feet away on a tree stump!  I had to wonder, was I still in bed, dreaming?  After all, this is a scene one would almost never expect! Lucky for me, my camera phone was handy and I quickly whipped it out and snapped a shot before this rare bird could fly away.  Strangely enough, the Woodpecker really didn't seem to care that I was only a few feet away in my car.

Pileated Woodpeckers are typically quite shy and are rarely seen, but they sure do love carpenter ants and no doubt, this particular one was hitting the mother-load in the long dead stump of a tree.  Here's something unusual and cool: Pileated Woodpeckers leave rectangular shaped holes from their pecking.  They are the only bird that does this.  So the next time you are out and about in the woods and see an old barkless dead log on the ground, check it out and see if you can notice rectangular holes in it.

Below is a great close-up video of a Pileated Woodpecker at work.