There was an article in the papers last week about two birding groups who are in a death lock birding controversy. Here in Dutchess County we mercifully have a peaceful bird watching group, the Ralph T. Waterman Bird Club. I don’t know who Ralph T was but the group has been going since I can remember and we used to go on outings with them. It may sound like an unusual hobby but it is fascinating particularly when you spot a rare or unusual bird. This all came to mind last Saturday while walking through the woods. It sounded like a machine gun blasting away. I knew immediately what it was, a Pileated Woodpecker, a bird the size of a crow that can demolish a tree in no time flat. I heard him clearly but couldn’t spot him but here is a picture of this beautiful bird.

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