Pileated woodpeckers are not rare, but I have seen them only three times.
Once something over 20 years ago, as we drove along the Natchez Trace, a pileated woodpecker appeared ahead of us, flying slowly across the road and into the woods in the park.
Once, last summer, in a park in Wisconsin, we heard the drumming in the woods, then saw the bird flying among the trees as we left.
But yesterday morning, as we sat on the patio, a pileated woodpecker flew into the trees at the edge of our property. It flew from tree to tree, then settled for a while on a rotting log by the path, pecking quietly. Then it flew on, into the neighbor’s yard and beyond.