I was from a small town in Connecticut. My dad worked for Audubon- everybody knew my dad.

One day somebody called him up and said there’s a pileated woodpecker- come see it. I was about 7 or 8. Back in those days, there weren’t very many Pileateds around. So we jumped in the car to go see it. When we saw it, he said “That’s Woody Woodpecker!” I remember how excited he was.
I’ve always associated that with dad.

He passed away when he was 70. And we were sitting around at the house, we lived up in the woods, and all of the sudden we hear KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. On the doorstep, there was a Pileated Woodpecker.
We said “That’s Dad!”

A few years after that they made a park in his name, a nature park near our house. My sister got engaged, and we went up to the park. There’s a big plaque on a huge rock. We were standing in front of the rock and she said “I wonder if he approves of me getting engaged?” A Pileated woodpecker flew down next to the plaque, another one came down, and they mated right there.

Since then, when I see a Pileated, I say, “Hi, Dad!
— Linda

I met Linda at Green Cay Nature Center, where she birds as regularly as the sun rises in the morning. She is quite well known in the area, and has seen nearly all species that have been reported there. (She added American White Pelican while we were talking) She is inseparable from her birding pals, and they're good company to bird with! When I heard this sweet story about her father, I knew I had to share it. We birded together for a while, before parting ways for the day. I feel blessed to have met such a dedicated birder to her local patch! 

Have you had any special experiences with birds? Email thebirdingproject@gmail.com to share! 

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