Pileated Woodpecker

photo by Mick Thompson CC BY-NC

Pileated Woodpeckers are one of the largest North American woodpeckers. The size of a Crow (16-19 in), they have a triangular red crest on top of their head and a long neck. They have a black body with white markings on the head and neck. Their chisel-like bill is almost as long as their head. Males have a red stripe on their cheek.

Pileated Woodpeckers can be found year-round in the forested areas of northern and eastern Canada as well as the west coast and eastern United States. They are sometimes seen in cities in wooded areas with dead trees. They dig rectangular holes in dead wood and standing trees looking for Carpenter Ants and other insects.

Did you know? Pileated Woodpeckers usually mate for life and share nesting duties (excavating a cavity in a dead tree, sitting on the eggs, and feeding the nestlings).

See Also: Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker