Pileated woodpecker (Nov. 6)

Dryocopus pileatus

Kansas' largest woodpecker is one of woodland birding's most exciting finds.

Pileateds are extremely shy birds of mature woodlands. Eastern Kansas has nice populations in timber studded with mature oaks.

A woodlot of huge hackberry near El Dorado State Park also has a thriving population.

Locally, they seem to be seen with increasing frequency along the Arkansas River in the Wichita area. Occasionally a report comes of one seen somewhere west of the city.

With wingspans pushing 30 inches, the crow-sized woodpeckers aren't easily confused with other birds. Their loud, excited calls are often heard long before even an experienced birder catches sight of a pileated.