One of the rarer sightings patrons on the H20 Alligator and Nature Tour enjoy is the Pileated Woodpecker.
Although widespread and native to the United States, sightings can prove uncommon. As a guide for H20, I have been blessed to see this animal many times on our tour.
It is a unique bird that takes your breath away every time, even if viewed in its natural habitat for only a moment. The Pileated Woodpecker is unmistakable with its iconic tuft of red hair adorning its crown and fiery red, almost Mohawk-like, feathers extending from the crown to the base of the neck and white slashes of feathers on its face.
Many times, instead of seeing the Pileated Woodpecker, patrons hear the bird in the thickness of the forest. They persistently hammer away at trees looking for various insects which make up its primary diet.
The flight pattern of the Pileated Woodpecker is as unique as the bird itself. It dips through the air in hill-shaped patterns, climaxing at a high peak. Then, they glide downward before renewing its ascent on the way to its destination. These woodpeckers are a favorite of those lucky customers on the H20 Alligator Tour.
Depending on the time of the year, their nests may be seen in the hardwood trees.
Pileated Woodpeckers hollow out humble abodes in these trees and, often, guides can point out nests. These birds make such nice homes that other animals such as raccoons, rodents and various birds sometimes try to adopt their hollows and make them their own.
Whether you are an experienced bird watcher or a family looking for fun and educational outdoor adventures, we hope to share the Sea Pines Forest Preserve and its rich variety of birds and other wildlife while you are visiting Hilton Head Island. Our guides are knowledgeable, experienced and friendly. We welcome all ages and backgrounds, and look forward to seeing you soon on one of our educational and fun-filled tours.
Written by Anthony R. Savarese, Reel Carolina.
H2O Sports in Harbour Town is a great place to spark curiosity and inspire learning through adventure in all ages. To make reservations for the Alligator and Wildlife Tour or the Wine & Cheese Sunset Alligator Tour, please call 843-671-4386.