Description of the Pileated Woodpecker
Is the largest North American woodpecker, although the ivory-billed is actually a larger variety, its numbers are such that it is, sadly, near or at extinction levels. Measuring 30 to 40 centimetres in length with a red crest and black bill, the male pileated has a red patch at the base of the bill whereas the female has a black patch at the base of the bill.
Voice of the Pileated Woodpecker:
While not a rare bird, they are quite shy. Listen for a low-pitched drumming that trails off in speed and volume at the end. Follow the sound, and you just may find one.
Habitat of the Pileated Woodpecker:
You’ll find these birds in mature forest with large trees with territory ranging from 150 to 200 acres.
Mating Habits of the Pileated Woodpecker:
To attract mates, the male will drum on trees to advertise his presence to any females in the area. Drumming is also done between mated pairs as part of courtship.
Nesting Habits of the Pileated Woodpecker:
Signs of their presence can be detected by looking for 5 to 7 centimetre holes in trees. The nest cavity is excavated in dead wood 5 to 25 meters above ground. The entrance hole is 8 centimetres in diameter. The depth of the cavity is between 25 and 50 centimetres deep. The female will lay 3 to 5 white eggs which will be incubated for 15 to 16 days by both the male and female birds. The young will leave the nest in about 28 days after hatching.
Feeding Habits of the Pileated Woodpecker:
Since these birds eat carpenter ants who tunnel deep into the wood, the birds are capable of excavating long gashes in tree to retrieve the ants.