This is the first shot of the Pileated Woodpecker that I am going to use taken with my new camera, the Canon 50D and zoom lens Sigma 150-500mm. Taken from my patio door, I am quite pleased with the results. Could be sharper, but will take some practice. That is some heavy lens! Taken at Anola, Manitoba.
Size: 40-49 cm (16-19 in)
Wingspan: 66-75 cm (26-30 in)
Weight: 250-350 g (8.83-12.36 ounces)
Red crest on head.
White in wings, at base of primaries, and underwing linings.
White conspicuous in flight; at rest shows only as small white spot at front of wing.
Black and white stripes on face.
White stripe extending from base of bill down neck.
White stripe above eye and below crown.
Bill thick and silvery gray.
Yellowish feathers over nostrils.
Legs and feet grayish black.
Eyes yellow. Sexes are similar, male has red crown and forehead and red in black mustache stripe. Female has gray to yellow-brown forehead and no red in mustache stripe. The juvenile is similar to the adult, but has shorter crest and brown eyes. Found in deciduous or coniferous forests with large trees. Their food is insects, primarily carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae, fruits, and nuts. They are foraging birds that gleans from branches, trunks, and logs. Makes deep rectangular excavations in trees and logs. Pries off long slivers of wood to expose ants. Their nest is a cavity in tree, usually dead tree. Cavity unlined except for wood chips. Eggs are white; usually 4-6, and are hatched hairless and helpless. Pileated Woodpecker populations declined greatly with the clearing of the eastern forests. The species rebounded in the middle 20th century, and has been increasing slowly but steadily in most of its range. Only in Arkansas do numbers seem to be going down. (http://www.birds.cornell.edu)