I heard them long before I saw them.
Chop, Chop, Chop!
A pair of Pileated Woodpeckers.
This is the female, which can be identified by the black line from her bill to her throat. In adult males this line is bright red.
As a former migraine sufferer I cringe as their beaks hammer
back and forth into the frozen bark of the tree.
The chopping sound echoes through the forest
making me think of olden day lumberjacks hard at work.
Strips of displaced bark are removed and flung aside,
where they spiral to the forest floor.
It was only in examining my pictures that I noticed its needle-thin tongue darting in and out of the tiny insect holes hidden under the bark.
People incorrectly believe these birds are hurting the trees they hammer away at. In reality they help control many insect populations that would otherwise create much bigger problems for the rest of the trees in the forest.
Here is a video I took of the woodpecker in action!