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Pileated Woodpeckers

Video of dueling Pileated Woodpeckers used courtesy of Karol Patzer

Some Facts About These Magnificent Birds

  • Pileated Woodpeckers will remain in an area that provides trees for cover and roosting cavities.  They also look for established food sources and that includes backyard feeders.
  • Suet feeders long enough for the Pileated to prop their tail for stability and leverage, a peanut pickout feeder as well as a bird bath are excellent for attracting them to your backyard.
  • Shock absorbers in their skull and a long tongue that wraps around the brain prevent injury from the constant pounding.  The tongue is coated with a sticky salvia and has barbs that point backwards.  These features make the tongue uniquely suited for extracting insects and larvae from the holes the woodpeckers drill in trees.
  • Adult male Pileated Woodpeckers have a red mustache below their eye and red on the head all the way to the bill, making them distinguishable from the females who lack these traits.
  • Pronouncing the name as pill-E-ated or pile-E-ated are both considered correct.

Contributed by Minnetonka Manager CAROL CHENAULT

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