Common Name: Pileated Woodpecker
Scientific Name: Dryocopus pileatus
- Large Woodpecker with a mostly black body (About the size of a crow)
- White wing linings
- Head has a prominent red crest and cap
- White face and neck stripes
- Red moustache stripe and gray bill (male)
- Black moustache stripe and cap (female)
- Found in mature forests and border from British Columbia to Nova Scotia and south into California and east to Florida
- Not found in desert southwest, Rocky Mountains, and the plains
Feeding and Breeding:
- Eats insects such as ants and wood boring beetle larva. Will also eat seeds, fruit and suet.
- Uses it long, barbed tongue with sticky saliva to extract ants from trees
- Nests are usually in large dead trees.
- The male begins the nest excavation
- The nest may be 10-24 inches in depth and can take 3-6 weeks to build
- A monogamous bird that lays 3-8 white eggs
Calls and Sounds:
- Call is a loud “cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk” (Listen at All About Birds)
- The oldest known Pileated Woodpecker was a male, and at least 12 years, 11 months old when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Maryland. (Source: All About Birds)
- December 2020-Northern Vermont- I heard the distinct call of the Pileated Woodpecker while out for a walk with the dogs. It was a silent afternoon, just shortly after a snowstorm ended, we had stopped a bend in the trail when the Pileated Woodpecker called out for what seemed like 45 seconds.
- December 2020- Need to get pictures of the many Pileated Woodpecker holes in the trees. These holes are a very distinct size and shape and often low to the ground.