posted Jan 22, 2015, 10:39 AM by Park Ranger
Over the past few months in the beautiful woods of McKaig, several cameras have been spotted pointing towards Woody Woodpecker.... could a new cartoon feature be in the works?
Spokespeople from the Walter Lantz studios in Hollywood have been tight lipped on the subject.
See him for yourself while walking the peaceful trails in McKaig Nature Center.
Somewhat of a rarity to our area, the pileated woodpecker has been seen, heard and photographed many times this past fall and winter.
|Female and Male Pileated Woodpecker - Evelyne Samsom|
The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent. It's nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest. Look (and listen) for Pileated Woodpeckers whacking at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their main prey, carpenter ants, leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood. The nest holes these birds make offer crucial shelter to many species including swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens.
Size & Shape
The Pileated Woodpecker is a very large woodpecker with a long neck and a triangular crest that sweeps off the back of the head. The bill is long and chisel-like, about the length of the head. In flight, the wings are broad and the bird can seem crowlike.
Pileated Woodpeckers are mostly black with white stripes on the face and neck and a flaming-red crest. Males have a red stripe on the cheek. In flight, the bird reveals extensive white underwings and small white crescents on the upper side, at the bases of the primaries.
Pileated Woodpeckers drill distinctive rectangular-shaped holes in rotten wood to get at carpenter ants and other insects. They are loud birds with whinnying calls. They also drum on dead trees in a deep, slow, rolling pattern, and even the heavy chopping sound of foraging carries well. Their flight undulates like other woodpeckers, which helps separate them from a crow's straight flight path.
Pileated Woodpeckers are forest birds that require large, standing dead trees and downed wood. Forests can be evergreen, deciduous, or mixed and are often old, particularly in the West. In the East they live in young forests as well and may even be seen in partially wooded suburbs and backyards.