Female Pileated Woodpecker

Posted on in Recent Sightings by Hawk Mountain

A Female Pileated Woodpecker Clings to the Bark of a Dead Tree

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) was spotted among the bare trees on the hike to North Lookout. They are common, year-round residents of the Sanctuary, easily identified by their black and white plumage and red crests. Both sexes are similar in appearance, but females lack the red stripe on their cheeks that is characteristic of males. 

An adult pileated woodpecker is approximately the size of a crow, making it the largest species of woodpecker in North America. On occasion they may appear at backyard feeders, but it is more likely to see them in mature forested habitats. Their preferred diet consists of ants and other wood-boring insects. 

Photo by Fred Zahradnik.