Pileated Woodpecker. Watercolor. 2020.
This woodpecker is distinctive because of its large size and little hat.

I love the way these birds peek around trees to look at you. I love the cartoonish way they bonk their faces into trees. I love that they might have brain damage but they simply do not appear bothered by that. They have X-shape feet, which is hilarious to me but practical for them. I love how impressive their anatomy is because they are saving you from witnessing horror.

If you’re wondering how they can drill over a hundred times per minute into trees without hurting themselves it’s because their strong neck muscles, spongy bones, and specialized beaks act as shock absorbers. They also possess a third eyelid which protects their eyes from debris or from popping out at the force of impact.

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