On Sunday I came face to face with a monster.

It wasn't Bigfoot or a Yeti that followed the cold weather down to the Hudson Valley. Instead, it was the biggest woodpecker I've ever seen.

Of course, I've seen woodpeckers in my neighborhood for years. We've always had those small black and white Downy Woodpeckers in the bird feeder and climbing up and down our trees looking for food. We've even had giant owls in the yard that have come so close to us they even tried to snatch objects out of our hands.

But I've never seen such a large woodpecker this close up before.

On Sunday morning the temperature was -4 at my house. Walking outside I heard a very loud pecking noise. Looking up in the trees for a woodpecker I was startled when I realized a Pileated Woodpecker was actually sitting low just 20 yards away. Pileated Woodpeckers are the largest woodpeckers in North America, and this one looked like a giant. It didn't seem to care that I was nearby so I sneaked in for a closer look.

I stood less than ten feet away from this busy guy and was able to watch him for several minutes. It didn't seem to mind the cold weather, but my fingers were burning from the sub zero temperatures, so I had to leave before it was done hunting for food.

Have you seen Pileated Woodpeckers in your neighborhood? We'd love to see any photos or videos you've taken. Feel free to share them on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.

 

Bonus Video: