Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker


(click to enlarge)

This is a new photo lifer for me!

The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in most of North America. Its loud ringing calls and huge, rectangular excavations in dead trees announce its presence in forests across the continent.

These birds mainly eat insects, especially carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae, fruits, and nuts. They often chip out large and roughly rectangular holes in trees while searching out insects.

Pileated Woodpeckers raise their young every year in a hole in the tree. In April the hole made by the male attracts a female for mating and raising their young. Once the brood is raised the Pileated Woodpeckers abandon the hole and will not use it the next year.

These holes, made similarly by all woodpeckers, when abandoned provide good homes in future years for many forest song birds. Ecologically, the entire woodpecker family is important to the well being of many other bird species.

They usually excavate large nests in the cavities of dead trees creating habitat for other large cavity nesters. A Pileated Woodpecker pair stays together on its territory all year round. It will defend the territory in all seasons, but will tolerate floaters during the winter.

The Pileated Woodpecker also nests in nest boxes about 15 ft off the ground.

Pileated Woodpeckers make such large holes in dead trees the holes can cause a small tree to break in half. The roost of a Pileated Woodpecker usually has multiple entrance holes. Pileated Woodpeckers have been observed to move eggs that have fallen out of the nest to another site, a rare habit in birds. The cavity is unlined except for wood chips. "Both parents incubate three to five eggs for 15 or 16 days. The young may take a month to fledge."

Research from Wiki and All about Birds.


Thanks for stopping by,

Craig Glenn

16 comments:

Debbie Miller @HooootOwl said...

Congrats! And Lucky!

dAwN said...

Yee Haw...great birdie..Congrats Craigy!

The Write Girl said...

Great shot Craig...I love his red hair. Thanks for sharing!

Rainforest Gardener said...

I love these! They're so big and rewarding to spot in the trees while hiking... can a woodpecker actually be majestic?

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

So now you are into clamations too hey? LOL!!

Great shot my friend. He looks so proud of himself I am sure he was posing just for you to take the picture. :)

Thyra said...

Amazing photo of a woodpecker. What gorgeous red hair! Nature has a great sense of colours.

KaHolly said...

And you captured it beautifully! Great job!

forestal said...

my spark bird, but never a good photo yet, fantastic shot!

dan

Diana (Di) said...

Craig, these guys always provide such entertainment around here, and I can never look upon them without thinking of Woody Woodpecker.

HANNIBAL said...

Great bird! Nice photo! Congrats Craig!

Hugh said...

And way sharper than any pileated pic I have been able to take. Great!

Elaine said...

Great shot! I have yet to see a Pileated Woodpecker, but then they don't frequent my area. I enjoyed your posts on the Downy Woodpecker, which we do have. We also have the Hairy Woodpecker, one of which visited my feeders today.

Gary said...

I saw one last week and they're incredible!!! Nice photo.

Country Mouse Studio said...

congrats on the excellent shot, I usually see something then can't catch it in time.

Carol said...

I am lucky enough to have at least 2 pair that hang out in my share of the woods. They are difficult to photograph. I need a better camera.

JRandSue said...

Out of this world shot,fabulous shot.