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