Roughly the size of a crow, it is one of the biggest birds of the forest. They have a very load call that the song used as the “Woody Woodpecker” laugh.
The Pileated Woodpecker’s main diet is the carpenter ant. They will loudly whack at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their prey, leaving rectangular holes. The holes they leave behind offer shelter to many others species, such as owls, ducks, swifts and bats. Sometimes the holes are so broad and deep that they can cause small trees to break in half!
They live throughout Canada and the eastern US. They are permanent residents where they live, they do not migrate, but may occasionally wander outside of breeding area.
With the clearing of forest the Pileated Woodpecker population sharply declined in the 18th and 19th centuries, but since around 1900 their population has been increasing.