SKETCHBOOK 68 – WHAT A WOODPECKER!

If he looks like Woody Woodpecker, it’s because both he and Woody are based on the big Pileated Woodpecker. We had a pair of them in our woods. I haven’t seen them lately, but I never saw them often. They are not feeder birds. Every now and then, they show up at a dying tree and get serious about digging out whatever is living in it. They have a beak the size of a small jackhammer, so they are very good at it.

They have a 30-inch wingspan making them approximately as size of a Merlin Falcon. When they go after bugs, they tear off huge hunks of bark in their quest for insects. We have a sufficiency of dying trees, so they are very happy doing what woodpeckers do, eating insects that kill trees. It doesn’t usually save the tree, at least not for long, but they do their best.

These impressive birds are four colors: black, white, red, and gray. Only the legs and beak are grey, so they are black and white with a bright red topknot. Males also have a red cheek stripe. This was an easy bird to draw because she was all angles.

Move over Woody! There’s a new woodpecker in town.



Categories: Anecdote, Arts, birds, Drawings, Sketchbook, Woodpeckers

Tags: , , , ,

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