Pileated Woodpecker male 1/28/18

You need to be around a sizable patch of woodland to regularly see these largest of the New England woodpeckers. The flaming red crests found in both sexes and even juveniles are what give them their name—pileated means crested or capped. On tree trunks they appear mostly black except for some white in the face and throat, though in flight you’ll see more of their white wing patches and underwings, which helps differentiate them from similarly sized crows. Mated pairs stick to their territories year round. They hammer away at tree trunks leaving rectangular holes in their search for ants and other insects but in winter they’ll also take fruits and berries, and if food is scarce or the winter particularly difficult, they’ll come to backyard feeding stations for suet. They have a stripe from the opening of the bill back to the throat which is black in the females, but red in the males.

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