Friday, July 31, 2009

Pileated Woodpeckers....

Wow, that's the first word that came to mind when I first saw this guy! He is HUGE....almost the size of a large crow. He was hanging on the suet feeder in the yard making the most unusual call....that's what alerted us to the fact that there was someone "new" at the feeder!

The Pileated Woodpecker has a territorial range of 1,000 to 4,000 acres. They mate for life, meaning they pick their mates and stay with them for a lifetime. The male as well as the female will sit on/hatch their clutch of 4 eggs. The male always takes the "night watch", he sits on the eggs at night. The eggs hatch at a little over 2 weeks and the babies "fledge" at about a month. They are born early summer and the parents will care for them and teach them to find food until around September and then the young go off on their own. In the Spring they will find their own homes and start their own families!

The Pileated Woodpecker is the 3rd largest Woodpecker in the United States/Canada. They grow to about 16 inches long...huge! They also have small yellow feathers that cover their nostrils so when they are pecking through wood they don't get the wood chips in their nose. Their "drumming" or pecking on trees, can be heard from quite a ways away. They also use this drumming to communicate with each other and to "warn" others away from their territory's.

He is a beautiful bird and we hope he stays around our feeder!!