Posted in Nature Knowledge

NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Pileated Woodpeckers

Pileated Woodpeckers are often a delightful sighting. They are as large as crows and their bright red heads and large wingspan have a shocking effect. Their cackle in the forest reminds me of a sound in Tarzan movie jungles.

I was delighted to discover a nest of these largest woodpeckers right in my yard at our camp site in upstate New York. I wasn’t able to study their goings-on as much as I would have liked. I have tremendous patience when it comes to photographing and observing birds but my family draws me away often. Theses few photos are enhanced for clarity but were not my best efforts had I had the luxury of camping alone.

The birds were happily unaffected by the family bustling beneath the nesting tree and placing my camera out while keeping and ear and eye on the tree, produced a few captures to share.

These birds love to eat carpenter ants. Their numbers had dwindled in the past 10 years due to a disruption of their forest habitat from logging and building houses.

As I am at the computer (at home in Northwestern Massachusetts) , I just heard a Pileated Woodpecker outside of my window. I know I am highly tuned to them from my sightings but can’t help but think they are having a “good” year and adapting well in semi-urban settings.

This very morning, the mother bird was hanging around in trees just beyond her nest. She did not approach it and I did not hear the babies crying out for food. I may have photographed the babies’ last feeding hours before they moved out as this year’s fledglings.

I’ll be keeping an eye and ear out for more…


I love a well told story. If it makes me laugh, all the better.

11 thoughts on “NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Pileated Woodpeckers

  1. This is so weird because this morning I was lounging in bed and thinking that I hadn’t read one of your nature posts lately, and hoping you’d do one soon.
    My son was quite the birder growing up, and his fascination rubbed off a bit on me.

    1. It gives me so much pleasure that you look forward to my posts. 🙂
      I try to capture my own photos in order to have the post entirely my own. This keeps me strolling through old photos and trying to capture new ones. My camera has seen its better days and I will have to ask Santa for a new one…I’ll do my best to continue these posts. 😉

  2. That is just wonderful to be able to follow this Woodpecker family.
    It coincides with me drawing a woodpecker family. I send you my link off-comment.
    Wonderful photo’s Susan.

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