Pileated Woodpecker – Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont, FL – March 2022
Wood chips were falling from the air. I looked up and noticed the reason why. This beautiful woodpecker was, I presume, hunting for bugs in this Pine tree.
Taken from the Web…
“Pileated” refers to the bird’s prominent red crest, from the Latin pileatus meaning “capped”.
The pileated woodpecker’s breeding habitat is forested areas across Canada, the eastern United States, and parts of the Pacific Coast. This bird favors mature forests and heavily wooded parks. They specifically prefer mesic habitats with large, mature hardwood trees, often being found in large tracts of forest. However, they also inhabit smaller woodlots as long as they have a scattering of tall trees.
Pileated woodpeckers mainly eat insects, especially carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae. They also eat fruits, nuts, and berries, including poison ivy berries. Pileated woodpeckers often chip out large and roughly rectangular holes in trees while searching out insects, especially ant colonies. They also lap up ants by reaching with their long tongues into crevices. They are self-assured on the vertical surfaces of large trees, but can seem awkward while feeding on small branches and vines. They may also forage on or near the ground, especially around fallen, dead trees, which can contain a variety of insect life. They may forage around the sides of human homes or even cars, and can be observed feeding at suet-type feeders. Although they are less likely feeder visitors than smaller woodpeckers, pileateds may regularly be attracted to them in areas experiencing harsh winter conditions.
~February, 2018, Lake Louisa State Park near Clermont, FL.
~ Lake Louisa can be reached by walking along a boardwalk, which spans a swampy area filled with Cypress trees and Swamp lilies. Take a moment to stop along the boardwalk, who knows what you might see.
~A portrait only nature can paint.
~Swamp Lilies rising out of “green soup”.
~The boardwalk leads you to the sandy beach of Lake Louisa. Swimming is allowed if you are brave enough to endure its cold temperature this time of year. I declined, what a wimp I am.
~What a great place to enjoy hiking, the park offers over twenty miles of trails.
This huge Live Oak tree welcomes you to walk underneath its branches, and to adventure along the sandy trail to see what lies ahead.
As I walked slowly pasted this Live Oak, admiring its beauty, I thought I heard it whisper “Be careful, have fun and watch for snakes!”.
~Cypress trees rise out of the water.
~A solitary walk, beautiful scenery, an opportunity to be reflective.
~A lone Cypress tree stands guard over the lake. “How old are you I ask?”
~I’am not alone, looks like I found a friend. He told me hello and poses for my camera.
~Many trails in the park meander through piney woods, and if you are lucky a glimpse of its inhabitants.
~Lake Louisa State Park, one of Florida’s treasures~
Note:Header photo is a photo I took during a previous visit to the park. Many Gray Catbirds call Lake Louisa home.