The Pileated Woodpecker is a large and striking bird that is found throughout the forests of North America. It is the largest woodpecker in the United States, measuring approximately 16 to 19 inches in length and weighing between 12 to 16 ounces. This bird is easily recognized by its black and white plumage, which creates a distinctive checkerboard pattern on its wings and back. The red crest on its head and neck are also notable and distinguish it from other species of woodpeckers.
One of the most distinctive field marks of the Pileated Woodpecker is its large size. It has a wingspan of up to 29 inches, making it easily the largest woodpecker in the United States. Its bill is also large and powerful, and it uses it to excavate large cavities in trees in search of insects. These cavities are often used by other bird species for nesting and roosting.
In terms of migration, the Pileated Woodpecker is a permanent resident in its range, meaning that it does not migrate to other areas. Instead, it remains in the same general area throughout the year. This bird can be found in deciduous and coniferous forests, where it feeds on insects and wood-boring beetles that it finds by pecking at the bark of trees. Its large size and distinctive appearance make it a favorite among bird watchers and nature enthusiasts.
The Pileated Woodpecker is also known for its loud and distinctive call, which is a series of loud, drumming sounds that can be heard echoing through the forest. This bird is also known for its elaborate courtship displays, which involve drumming, calling, and aerial displays. These displays are often accompanied by the birds’ loud calls and can be quite impressive to observe.
Overall, the Pileated Woodpecker is a fascinating bird that plays an important role in the forest ecosystem. Its size, distinctive appearance, and unique behaviors make it a popular bird among bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. Whether you are exploring a forest or simply watching birds in your backyard, the Pileated Woodpecker is a bird that is well worth the effort to see and appreciate.