Skip to main content

Pileated Woodpecker

Dryocopus pileatus
The Pileated Woodpecker is a large Woodpecker, the largest in North America in fact. It also has a pretty substantial range that covers the forested, non-mountainous areas of the continent.

You can identify the Pileated Woodpecker by its black body, red cap, and white bar that runs down the throat. The only difference between males and females is a red stripe that runs from the beak to the throat in males. They are similar in look to two other Woodpeckers that we have talked about here, the Ivory-Billed and Imperial, but those species have slightly different ranges, and are also extremely rare, if not extinct. The Pileated Woodpecker on the other hand, is very common.

You can tell that a Pileated Woodpecker is in your area by their loud call and by the pattern that they leave behind in dead trees. Insects like ants and beetle larvae make up big chunks of their diet, and in order to get to these meals they drill large rectangular patterns in the wood. Sometimes these holes are so deep that they cause small trees to break completely in half! Often times though, the tree is left very much intact, and the holes that they dig become nesting sites for other bird species.

When it comes to their own nesting, the male Woodpecker will excavate a large cavity, usually in a dead tree. He will use this nest site to attract a mate, and together they will raise 3-5 young each season. Pairs often remain monogamous for life, but the nest sites are rarely used more than once. Once again, these cavities are used by other birds for their own mating habits.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : North America
Size : Body Length up to 19in (49cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Piciformes
Family : Picidae -- Genus : Dryocopus -- Species : D. pileatus


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe