The Pileated Woodpecker is a very large North American woodpecker that is quite common in its range. Adults are mainly black with a red crest and a white line down the sides of the throat. Adult males have a red line from the bill to the throat and red on the front of the crown. In adult females, these are black. They show white on the wings in flight. I was taking a walk to my local lake to take pictures of the barn swallows when I heard a loud cackle. It scared me half to death because it sounded like it was right next to me. As it turns out, not five feet away from me, this beautiful bird was digging in an old tree stump on the side of the road. I froze in shock so I wouldn’t scare him. He looked up at me and cackled again and continued his digging while paying me no mind at all. I never thought I’d get my camera out of the bag and around my neck without scaring it away, much less get any photos. As you can see, he calmly went about his business and posed for some shots as well. This is to date, my most amazing photo opp. I still smile from ear to ear when I think about it.