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Pileated Woodpecker

Grand Pic

Dryocopus pileatus

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Pileated Woodpecker

Species: The Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is the size of a crow, and is the largest member of the woodpecker family seen in North America. Even today, this woodpecker is being mistaken for the extinct, Ivory-billed Woodpecker, which is similar in looks and size.

Distinctions: This large woodpecker, 16 to 17 inches in size, both sexes have large red crests, mostly black and white bodies, white stripes down their necks. The male can be distinguish from the female by its red malar (mustache) and full red crest, as to where the female has a black malar and a partial red crest. Both sexes have large white areas in the regions of their underwing coverts and axillaries made visible, when seen flying.

Voice: Loud rapid cries, something you would expect to hear in the tropics. Loud rapid tapping on a tree trunk or limb, for which the male does to attract a mate.

Nesting: Four white eggs per clutch. The Pileated Woodpecker nest in tree cavities. The holes made in tree trunks, are made by both sexes.

Birds of North America

Life, Habitat and Pictures of the Pileated Woodpecker

B L W W W Family Latin Name
16.5" 42cm 29" 73.7cm 10oz 283.5g Picidae Dryocopus pileatus

  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter

Distribution: Non-migratory and common across North America, seen from Nova Scotia to northern British Columbia, down into California, up into the central states, down into Texas, to the Atlantic coast and back up into Canada. This large woodpecker has adapted well, making a comeback from the early 1900's. The Pileated Woodpecker can now be seen even in wooded areas inside town and cities.

References to Other Bird Sites:

These are links to websites pertaining to the different birding institutions, societies and organizations here in North America. Some of these same sites are a great asset to seeking out knowledge on birds in other regions of the world. Each of these links offer the user different methods to identify birds, whether it be by regions, habitat, appearance or maybe colour. Knowledge on the possibilities of where and what birds might be present are included.

Avibase - the world bird database This site provides the user with a complete list of bird species, broken down per country, or in the example of the US or Canada, per state and province. Here, bird species names are available in other languages, a great asset to be used as a translation of foreign bird names.

ABA - American Birding Association This site represents an organization that maintains official records of all birds species that have been proven to have been seen inside the perimeters of the North American Continent and the surrounding bodies of water. Regular revised versions are posted to keep the bird list current at all times. This is the list used by all serious birders over their lifetime. You may be aware of the movie called the "Big Year". It was with this list that all the competing birders used in an attempt to set a new record as to how many bird species that could be seen by an individual birder in one calendar year.

The description to follow is taken from the AOS Home Page.

AOS - The American Ornitholgy Society is an international society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of birds, enriching ornithology as a profession, and promoting a rigorous scientific basis for the conservation of birds. As one of the world's oldest and largest ornithological societies, AOS produces scientific publications of the highest quality, hosts intellectually engaging and professionally vital meetings, serves ornithologists at every career stage, pursues a global perspective, and informs public policy on all issues important to ornithology and ornithological collections. AOS is distinguished by its tremendous collective expertise, including eminent scientists, conservation practitioners, early career innovators, and students.

eBird - TheCornellLab of OrnithologyeBird is a must for any individual, who has an interest in birds. This site allows users to sign up and participate in recording birds seen on a daily basis as well as the location, for any bird species seen in the world. In addition, users can use the existing data to search out the location of bird species throughout the year. By using filters, information as to the movements can be determined. Photos can be added to identify individual birds. Migration pattern can be calculated using information by months or years as needed. Range maps can be verified, allowing the users to see where the presence of individual bird species are expected to be at certain times of the year.

NA - National Geographic The Society of National Geographic provides some of the best books available for those who have an interest in birds. The book called "The Complete Birds of North America", is a book recommended to be part of any birders library. This book covers all the native and vagrant species of birds seen on the North American Continent. It provides information on all the birds listed on the ABA bird list. This book goes into great details, describing the individual species and their races. That aside, their website provides wonderful information pertaining to many articles regarding nature.

I hope you will take advantage of these suggested websites. I have used each of them, in one way or another, throughout the years in my quest to better identify and understand our fine feathered friends.

Classic Collection of North American Birds