The Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) pictured to the right was actively foraging on a deteriorated log. He was so intent on eating, that he allowed us to approach him and take a few pictures without flying away. Pileated Woodpeckers are one of the largest woodpeckers found in North America. This woodpecker is a year-round resident of the property and plays a vital role in the forest for other animals. It’s large size and strong bill allow the woodpecker to excavate holes in trees while foraging for insects (mainly carpenter ants) that are used by other birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates for shelter and nesting. Once the Pileated Woodpecker pries off the bark and wood to expose the ants, it uses its long pointed tongue (with barbs and sticky saliva) to extract the ants from their tunnels in the log or tree. Pileated Woodpeckers are monogamous birds that are rarely seen apart or far from their mate. They both readily defend their territory from other territorial birds and will even stay in the same territory after their mate dies. They have one brood per season of approximately four eggs that take about 18 days to hatch, with both parents incubating during the day and the male incubating at night. The Pileated Woodpecker’s call and drumming can be heard during the dawn chorus recordings during the day.

Listen to a Woodpecker:

Time Stamp      Bird Call
0:00:11            Woodpecker
0:01:08            Northern Flicker
0:04:22            Howling and barking
0:04:51            American Crow
0:09:27           Canada Goose
0:13:05            Woodpecker