**

**

Pileated woodpeckers!

They are huge birds at two feet tall.  

They don’t show themselves very often.  

Once in a while I catch a glimpse of them as they sweep through the forest.

But I always hear them before I see them.

They sound so out of place in east Texas. I ask myself if something has escaped from a rainforest exhibit at the local zoo. Seriously! Their resounding call is tropical, even Amazonian.  

The first few times I heard it, I thought, what is That?!  Now, I recognize the song and smile inwardly.

Recently I found this tree. After a bit of research I figured out that it is their handiwork.  Clearly they are as fierce and powerful in their hunting as one might imagine.

Pileated woodpeckers dig more thoroughly than an archeologist fresh on the trails of ancient history. The fresh pale color of the shavings tells the story of spring nesting and hungry babies. I have not sighted the birds themselves yet.

But, no doubt, they are nearby…

Rare jungle birds have come home.

****

ellie894 March 18, 2019

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