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Occasional Observation #22

Saw a Pileated Woodpecker fly onto a telephone pole yesterday afternoon, as I was returning home after my daily walk down Jacques-Cartier. The bird was evidently in some distress, emitting harsh “KWOK-KWOK” sounds after a couple of pecks at the pole. I didn’t remember Pileateds sounding this much like Crows–albeit introverted Crows. The big woodpecker flew away quickly, vamoosing in the spirit of a man who had just received bad news over the phone. The joy I took in seeing this unusual visitor to urban Gatineau was somewhat allayed by my distress at hearing his apparent distress. As he flew away, back across the river toward Lac Leamy Park, I couldn’t help wondering what had gone wrong in that big woodpecker’s life. Whatever had gone wrong for him, he was definitely not a happy camper on this day.

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