poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker excavations

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The Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is a common visitor in our yard. The size of the woodpecker and its triangular red crest are impossible to miss. The male also has a red stripe on the side of its face.

There is a big spruce tree in our grey woods where the Pileated Woodpecker loves to visit. The hole in the tree and the pile of woodchips below the hole say this woodpecker has been very busy.  The woodpeckers drill these holes to get insects.

On a drive to see the Smyth Covered Bridge near Hoyt, New Brunswick, we found a roadside tree with evidence of the Pileated Woodpecker’s industry.  The holes are almost a foot in length and deep enough to hide a hand.




To humans, the best forests may seem to be woods with healthy trees. To provide good habitat for the Pileated Woodpecker, a forest should have lots of dead and fallen trees, to provide food and nesting sites.



Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

April 27, 2018 at 7:06 am

excavation underway!

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On Tuesday morning last week, I began my morning work to the beat of an intermittent rapping.  It was so loud and so near, I thought it must be someone hammering on the house.

I looked outside and saw, across the lawn, a large bird with a flaming red crest.  A Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)!

We have seen this species of woodpecker several times before in our Grey Woods.  These birds leave their oval cavities in many of our older trees, evidence of their search for insects or the preparation of cavities for nesting.  The use of dead or dying trees as cavity nesting sites is an example of how important these trees are to the woodland ecosystem.

I watched as the bird did her circuit of the tree and hopped down to the ground for a while.  Then she fluttered up to our cedar rail fence and into the trees.

The Pileated Woodpecker’s bright red crest and long skinny neck give it a comical air – not a beautiful bird, but very exciting to see and watch.



©  Jane Tims   2012

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