Chris Reid and I talked about the pileated woodpecker last Sunday on Zoo Knew (Sundays at 7:15 am on CJOB AM)
- The pileated woodpecker, made famous by inspiring the cartoon character Woody the Woodpecker, is Canada’s largest and North America’s second largest woodpecker species.
- Pileated woodpeckers range is length from 40 – 50 cm (16 to 19.5 in), with a wing length of 68 – 76 cm.
- Pileated woodpeckers are mostly black when at rest but show a burst white underwings when in flight.
- The sexes are similar in appearance, although the males have a larger red crest and a red moustache.
- The pileated woodpecker is an uncommon species, found in coniferous, mixed and hardwood forests. It prefers dense, mature forest but has begun to frequent woodlots in the past couple of decades.
- Pileated woodpeckers excavate characteristically oval holes in trees to find ants and other wood-boring insects (and their larvae). They will also eat berries and nuts.
- The pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is related to other Manitoba woodpecker species like the more common yellow-bellied sapsucker, the downy woodpecker, the hairy woodpecker, the red-headed woodpecker and the northern flicker.
For more on some of the wonderful birds that can be seen (wild) at the Assiniboine Park, please visit: http://www.assiniboinepark.ca/index.php?option=com_birds&task=birds&Itemid=12
To hear this woodpecker’s call, please visit: http://www.assiniboinepark.ca/media/birds/P/Pileated%20Woodpecker.mp3
Compiled by Scott Gray with references from Peterson Field Guides (Eastern Birds), Manitoba Birds (Andy Bezener & Ken De Smet), and The Field Guide to the Birds of North America (National Geographic Society).