I live among towering Beech trees. One of the thrills for me is observing Pileated Woodpeckers who prefer this ecosystem of new growth and old decay. Carpenter ants found under tree bark in older trees are their main food source. Last spring, I discovered a cavity nest in the trunk of a decaying beech. The adult birds often sleep in a different cavity, away from where the juvenile(s) sleep. I observed this juvenile one afternoon as he peered out the hole for at least 1/2 hour, patiently waiting for the return of one of the adults. He took note of my presence, but was nonchalant, safe in his confines. Eventually both adults returned and surprised me by entering the nest through different holes on the tree trunk. “Dad’s Home” is painted as close to life size as possible to give the viewer a sense of the pileated’s impressive presence. The Pileated Woodpecker plays a vital role in this ecosystem. The large holes they excavate provide critical nesting for other species such as the Wood Duck, owls, bats and small mammals. The cavities are also often used by other birds to store food and search for insects.