A special encounter with a Pileated Woodpecker

I had a really special encounter with a Pileated Woodpecker in Musqueam Park this weekend. It was special because she let me approach on my belly and continued to feed unperplexed.

It was worth all the scratches and cuts just to get this shot. They are one of my fave woodpeckers on the planet. They are stunning to look at with their large size, red crests and that call that resonates right through you. It was a real privilege to have this interaction with this pretty lady, as I have never got a decent shot of one until now.

Female Pileated Woodpecker in Vancouver - Photo: Melissa Hafting

I have been really enjoying the spring migration. It is nice during this pandemic that we can still enjoy our hobby. I have been going every day to my local patches and been so happy to see the first Wilson's Warblers and Hammond's Flycatchers of the year etc. 

A Yellow-rumped Warbler taken this spring in Richmond, BC - Photo: Melissa Hafting

Recently Ilya and I found a Red-naped Sapsucker in my local patch and then a Pacific Golden-Plover, Dusky Flycatcher and House Wren. Also we successfully chased a Black-billed Magpie which was a new Metro Van Bird for me. I have been so impressed by the local BC birding community. They have been socially distancing great and we are all experiencing some joy in this difficult time. I think it is so important to keep up your spirits in trying times.

My friend Krista recently sent me this poem. You can read it HERE. I hope you enjoy it.


  1. Beautiful shot of the woodpecker! What an amazing encounter.

  2. Agreed, Mel! It's been so great running into you and other birding friends!


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