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Pileated woodpecker (1 Viewer)

Caz42

Member
United Kingdom
Hello everyone,
I've just joined because I've discovered the bird in my garden last year was a very rare sight to see in the UK so I'm so excited and need to tell others. It was a Pileated woodpecker. The bird landed on my blue tits nesting box, one foot on either side and was putting his head in and out trying to get the baby birds which were in there. He was massive, absolutely beautiful and had the biggest bright red mohican on his head which was at least 2 inches high from his head, if not more.

I stood for a few moments with my mouth gaping open as I thought it must be an escaped parrot at first !! I get the normal woodpeckers in my garden the black spotted, I think they're called with the red circle on their head but this one I'd say was massive in comparison. Now that I know this was a rare sight, I wish I had watched for longer or grabbed my phone to take a picture, but I was so upset at it trying to steal the babies that I ran out and chased it away.. .

I feel very privileged to have saw one as I'm new to the bird world and only began feeding them in my garden 2 years ago. Since this bird is native to the US, does anyone know why it might have been in Scotland?

Look forward to your replies :)
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Hi Caz42 and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

I think it's more likely you had a young Great Spotted Woodpecker in your garden, which I'd just love to see in mine!!! Their crowns are red. Pileated Woodpeckers are an American species and don't migrate.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news.

 

Kits

Picture Picker
Welcome to Birdforum! I am sure you will find lots to interest you here and I hope that you enjoy your visits.
 

Caz42

Member
United Kingdom
Hello Delia,

Thanks for reply. No it most certainly wasn't as I have a 2 of those in my garden daily.
It was 100% a Pileated woodpecker, exactly as the pictures show online. It was almost the size of the seagulls here, bigger than my birdbox which was around 12 inches high by 8 inches wide and the wingspan when it flew off took my breath away, it was so big.

There are loads of pictures online of these and it can't be mistaken for the great spotted as it's so much bigger and the red mohican is a sight to see and very vibrant !!
I guess I'll never see one again.

I've read that they don't migrate which is why I've joined here as I can't understand why on earth it would be here. I'm now thinking it must have been an escaped pet or is someone breeding them here possibly, I have no idea but I can't think of any other explanation. The pictures online really don't show how beautiful it is in real life and it's one of those moments people have that stay with them forever :)
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
Hi Caz42 and a warm welcome to you from across the pond ;)

I just posted a photo last night of one of my Pileated Woodpeckers that grace my backyard. They are always great to see..

Please join in wherever you like ;)
 

Caz42

Member
United Kingdom
Hi Caz42 and a warm welcome to you from across the pond ;)

I just posted a photo last night of one of my Pileated Woodpeckers that grace my backyard. They are always great to see..

Please join in wherever you like ;)
Hi KCπŸ™‹,

Where are you ? How lucky you are to have these just strolling by in your yard !
I'm sitting here right now watching the birds feeding as it's 4.30pm here in Scotland and just getting dark so most are gone.
 

Caz42

Member
United Kingdom
Maybe Scotland is where all the Ivory Billed Woodpeckers have been hiding all along.
Hi skatebirder 😊
I read about those when looking up the birds online, such a shame they're endangered now.
Wouldn't that be something if one of those turned up in my garden !!
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
Where are you ? How lucky you are to have these just strolling by in your yard !
I'm sitting here right now watching the birds feeding as it's 4.30pm here in Scotland and just getting dark so most are gone.

I'm in Myrtle Beach, SC
 

Caz42

Member
United Kingdom
Welcome to Birdforum πŸ˜€
Thanks Fritz ☺️

I'm wondering if I'll ever find out how one of these birds came to be in my garden. Would someone be allowed to bring one of these over here by air to keep in an aviery or claim it's going to be a pet perhaps? Are they sold in the States for this to be possible or are they wild birds and it would be illegal in US to sell them? I have no idea and would so love to solve the mystery of how this beautiful bird came to be in Scotland.
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
I would definitely think it was an escapee captured Woodpecker.

It's definitely illegal to sell or capture wild birds over here but who knows what goes on behind our backs.
 
Last edited:

jmepler

It's just a flesh wound.
Thanks Fritz ☺️

I'm wondering if I'll ever find out how one of these birds came to be in my garden. Would someone be allowed to bring one of these over here by air to keep in an aviery or claim it's going to be a pet perhaps? Are they sold in the States for this to be possible or are they wild birds and it would be illegal in US to sell them? I have no idea and would so love to solve the mystery of how this beautiful bird came to be in Scotland.

From what I can find, if what you saw was in fact a Pileated Woodpecker, it would be not only the first record in Great Britain, but the first record in the entire Western Palearctic.

If it was a Pileated Woodpecker, it would almost certainly be an escapee from a zoo or aviary, and not a vagrant.

I find it odd that, if it is a Pileated Woodpecker, it has gone unreported until now. Unless you are in a very isolated area, or the bird has just arrived, someone would have seen it. A Pileated Woodpecker is a hard bird to miss; they are big and loud.

A picture, no matter how poor, would be very useful. New birders are often absolutely sure of what they have seen, until you point out to them what they have actually seen.
 

raymie

Well-known member
United States
If there are any captive Pileated Woodpeckers in the UK, they would not be there legally.

I would like to see a photo of this bird.
 

Caz42

Member
United Kingdom
From what I can find, if what you saw was in fact a Pileated Woodpecker, it would be not only the first record in Great Britain, but the first record in the entire Western Palearctic.

If it was a Pileated Woodpecker, it would almost certainly be an escapee from a zoo or aviary, and not a vagrant.

I find it odd that, if it is a Pileated Woodpecker, it has gone unreported until now. Unless you are in a very isolated area, or the bird has just arrived, someone would have seen it. A Pileated Woodpecker is a hard bird to miss; they are big and loud.

A picture, no matter how poor, would be very useful. New birders are often absolutely sure of what they have seen, until you point out to them what they have actually seen.
 

Caz42

Member
United Kingdom
Yes I couldn't find anyone else who has saw one either. It's not a case of "if" what I saw was a pileated pecker, I am 100% certain of what I saw and even though you clearly don't believe me, it doesn't concern me. I'm not crazy, I know it was there, I know I chased it before it ate my blue tits chicks and I know I didn't imagine the whole thing or it might be best if I'm locked up !

What concerns me is how it came to be in my garden and if they are being brought over illegally as I'd hate to think of them being caged up for human entertainment as I hate zoos too. I sincerely hope not but I can't help but think they must be which upsets me.
 

Caz42

Member
United Kingdom
I do wonder if this is a wind up?
No Andy, I can't think why anyone would want to wind someone up about a bird.
I might bow out gracefully now as I can feel a sense of " this woman is crazy" which isn't why I came here. It was nice to chat anyway.

Bye all.
 

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