Photo of the Day: Pileated Woodpecker

Bob Mislan captures a father returning to the nest.

Bob Mislan had always dreamt of photographing a pileated woodpecker nest. So when he found one in Norfolk, Virginia, he thought he had struck gold. Unfortunately, a storm toppled the tree that housed the piciformes, leaving Mislan and the avian inhabitants without a much-desired roost.

With the help of a fellow photographer, Mislan tracked down another nest at the Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve in Portsmouth. Then the waiting game began. Getting the perfect shot required a lot of patience because the parents zipped in and out of the opening in the tree. Eventually, Mislan learned to anticipate the birds' arrival by listening to their calls. His perseverance paid off when he captured this moment of Daddy being greeted by his kids.

This image was a Top 100 photo from the 2013 Audubon Magazine Photography Awards. To see all of the photos, click here.

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