Pileated Woodpecker

Dryocopus pileatus




Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:

3 - 8

Incubation Days:

15 - 18

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

15 - 85 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Few wood chips in tree.





Pileated Woodpecker: Large woodpecker with mostly black body and conspicuous white wing linings. Head has a prominent red crest and cap, white face and neck stripes, red moustache stripe, and gray bill. Female is similar but has black moustache stripe and cap.

Range and Habitat

Pileated Woodpecker: Resident from the northeastern provinces and British Columbia east across southern Canada to Nova Scotia, and south to northern California, southern Idaho, eastern North Dakota south to central Texas, and east across the states to Florida. Absent from the desert southwest, Rocky Mountains, and plains states. Found in mature forests and borders.

Breeding and Nesting

Pileated Woodpecker: Three to eight white eggs are laid in a bare tree cavity. Incubation ranges from 15 to 18 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Pileated Woodpecker: Feeds on insects such as ants and wood boring beetle larvae; also eats fruits and nuts. Pries off long slivers of wood to expose ant galleries, or uses its long, pointed tongue with barbs and sticky saliva to catch and extract ants from tunnels.

Readily Eats

Suet, Sunflower Seed, Nuts, Sugar Water, Fruit


Pileated Woodpecker: Call is a loud, flicker-like "cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk", rising and then falling in pitch and volume.

Similar Species

Pileated Woodpecker: Ivory-billed Woodpecker (presumed extinct) lacks white chin and small white eyestripe extending to crest.

The area on top of the head of the bird.
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X