Pileated Woodpecker - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Pileated Woodpecker - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Pileated Woodpecker - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Pileated Woodpecker - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Pileated Woodpecker
Dryocopus pileatus

Woodpeckers
Woodpecker Family (Picidae)

Size: Length: 42-48.5 cm Wingspan: 69-76 cm

Description: Our largest woodpecker, the laughing call of the pileated woodpecker is an uncommon, but welcome sound in coniferous and mixed-wood forests. They can be spotted throughout the year, and can be identified by their size, as large as a crow, and their red crest. Its head is white with a flowing red crest and mustache. Females lack the mustache, and the crest begins further back towards the crown. There is a black eye-streak dividing the white face. The nape and throat are black, as is the rest of the body. The lower margin of the wing may show the white wing coverts when folded. In flight, the white forewing and speculum is clearly visible against the black outline of the bird. Their call is almost mocking in nature, a high pitched, insane laugh. The drumming is very slow, and low in tone. They are fond of the bases of large trees where they often excavate large holes, leaving a pile of chips on the ground. They love to feed on carpenter ants and other wood-boring beetles. They do eat other insects, and may peel the bark off trees to access the hidden beetles. They also eat some seeds. The nests are large, with excavations beginning in February or March. It may take up to a month to chisel out their nest, but they normally build a new nest each year. The family stays together into September when the young move a few miles away to a new territory.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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