May, 2019 - By Koaw

The pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is such a reclusive bird in the wild. I rarely get the opportunity to get shots of this gorgeous woodpecker. On this day—I was in for a treat.

I happened upon a large snake, what I believe to be a northern black racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor), that had just crossed a stream. Within moments of getting my camera setup, a male northern pileated woodpecker (D. p. abieticola) flew from the canopy to deal with the large, slithering intruder.

It was amazing just observing the behaviors of both animals during this fascinating interspecific interaction. And it became even more interesting when the female woodpecker of the mating pair joined the territorial dispute. #couplegoals

I was lucky my camera was with me – though I wish I had a larger lens. But any camera with a lens is better than none when these interactions occur. I can’t count the number of intriguing animal encounters that remain only in memory, unable to be shared with the world because I was without a camera.

I’m glad I could share this wildlife observation with you! Full video is on Koaw Nature’s YouTube channel.

Cheers! –K