Woodpecker ‘Pileated’ dryocopus pileatus
An uncommon year-round resident, requires large breeding territory. One of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent. It’s nearly the size of a crow. A pair stays together on its territory all year round. It will defend the territory in all seasons, but will tolerate new arrivals during the winter.
Food: digs out carpenter ants, wood-boring insects thus speeding up natural decomposition of fallen or standing dead trees, leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood.
Nest: tell-tale elliptical nest hole.The nest construction usually takes 3-6 weeks, and nests are rarely reused in later years. Cavity depth can range from 10-24 inches.The nest holes these birds make offer crucial shelter to many species including swifts, owls, ducks, bats.
ID: bright red pointed crest and white line below the eye and down the side of the neck. Male has red moustache. yellow eyes. In flight, it flashes large white wing patches on the undersides of the wings.The bill is long and chisel-like, about the length of the head. They also drum loudly on dead trees in a deep, slow, rolling pattern, and even the heavy chopping sound of foraging carries well. Their flight undulates like other woodpeckers, which helps separate them from a crow’s straight flight path.
Voice: They are loud birds with whinnying calls, fast, rolling waika-waika-waika-waika. Long seried os kuk notes.
Eggs: 3–5, Incubation Period 15–18 days Nestling Period – 24–28 days
A woodpecker’s bill becomes shorter as the bird ages.