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Fast Fact: Pileated Woodpeckers

Many of our local woodpeckers sport black, white and red feathers, and the pileated woodpecker is one of them. It’s easy to distinguish pileated woodpeckers from our other local woodpeckers because of their size. They are the largest woodpeckers in North America, and they are about the same size as a crow. They are mostly black with white stripes on their face and a bright red head.

(Photo via Shutterstock)

These woodpeckers love mature forests, where they make holes in trees. When they are pecking away they are searching for their favorite food: carpenter ants. Their hard work excavating holes can create quite a racket and can be heard from quite a distance. It’s easy to spot a pileated woodpecker hole because of its shape. They make rectangular holes rather than circular. The holes they make aren’t just for their benefit, though. Many small birds that nest in cavities might move in.


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