Pileated Woodpecker

Male Pileated Woodpecker on November 8, 2020. Pileated males and females look the same with the exception of males having a red stripe on their cheek. When the photo was taken, I was unable to remember which sex had the stripe. They are hard to miss, being the largest woodpecker in the United States.

The prior day I also saw a Pileated from a distance moving about the woods. It was too far to get a nice shot and I quickly lost it. The next day, the bird activity kept me shooting for over 2 hours. Plenty of White-throated Sparrows, Song Sparrows, and even a Hairy Woodpecker. I wasn't expecting to see the Pileated again. I stumbled upon him while walking back up the treeline. He was hard to see initially due to drilling in the shade of the tree cavity so my expectation was low these shots would turn out. I stepped closer after several minutes and he flew into a nearby tree. There were numerous branches blocking him.

I edited this photo extensively, cleaning up out-of-focus branches to draw more attention to the bird. I recorded the result from start to finish after I was satisfied.

Lens - Tamron 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 @ 600mm on Nikon D500