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Birds of KY: Pileated - Woodhen - 1 of 6 woodpeckers in Adair Co.

2012-01-11 - South Adair County, KY - Photo by David Upchurch.

The large Woody Woodpecker bird is a Pileated Woodpecker, sometimes called a Woodhen. This one was captured by David Upchurch and posted on CM almost one year ago. It's the bird, ornithologist Wendy Butler Burt says, which Fay W. McKinley remembers as a woodhen. The caption with the posting last year:David Upchurch wasn't present when this photo was taken, which may have made it possible. "They are very shy birds," he notes, "they fly at the slightest sound." The result of his set up work is a marvelous shot taken by his Leaf River Trail Cam which has also captured an image of another beautiful bird. The magnificent Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) dominates the scene. It measures perhaps 16" in length, and may appear even larger because of the camera angle. A big bonus in the photo is lower down in the photograph. A Red Bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) is sharing the insect banquet on the same tree trunk. It eats beetle larvae and, carpenter ants. Pileated Woodpeckers are approximately the same size as the nearly extinct ivory-billed woodpecker, and is very similar in many characteristics. According to the entry on Pileated Woodpeckers in Wikipedia, the Pileated Woodpecker is the model for the "Woody Woodpecker," cartoon character. Its call is a wild laugh, the article says. Another noise it is famous for making is a drumming noise. More than a few people have been startled by the drumming sound when the birds peck rapidly on chimneys, roofs, and other parts of the house. It is sometimes called an "Indian Rooster" or "Rain crow," and, in the Adair County area, it is sometimes referred to as a "Wood Hen."

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