Benson State Park

January 22, 2015 0 By Audrey

A woodpecker walks into a bar and asks: “Is the bar tender here?”

Hah! The inspiration to find that joke came from an incidental bird sighting on Monday. Along with a team of 30+ people volunteering for the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership I spent the morning at Benson State Park in the Columbia Gorge planting ninebark, snowberry, and salmonberry along Wahkeena Creek to improve salmon habitat.


Not specifically intending to bird that day, after planting I heard a fast wuk wuk wuk call that sounded very woodpecker-like and I thought, maybe a Northern Flicker? But no, this bird was bigger, and had a very distinctly shaped head. I couldn’t help but investigate further. It was a nice surprise when I finally got a good look at the Pileated Woodpecker! This striking bird is the largest woodpecker in North America.


I even took a short video:

Maybe the sighting wasn’t so incidental after all, as the saying goes:

“I don’t go birdwatching, I AM birdwatching.”

Tweets and chirps,