Today's photo is a blue jay catching an ant. I took this photo last summer when I noticed the blue jay hopping around in my raised bed. I couldn't imagine what he was doing until I captured him catching ants.
This pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) has been lurking in the wooded area behind my home for several years. I have caught glipses of him in the distance and have heard his call. But, yesterday was the first time he has come close enough for a decent photo.
These impressive birds reach an adult size of 16 to 19 inches with a wingspan of 26 to 30 inches. Although they are common year round in Maine, they are listed in the Migratory Bird Treaty Protected Species Act. The pileated woodpecker prefers wooded areas with some dead or downed trees as they feed on carpenter ants, beetles and other insects that make their home in the dead wood of trees.
I have observed them near a small stream that runs through a wooded area and in an area of the woods that was recently cut. They often fly from one area to another along the same path at the back of my yard.