Pileated Woodpecker [video]
Yesterday I came across this enormous black and white woodpecker with a conspicuous bright red crest, while it was working on excavating a huge hole. Actually, I found this bird not far from my mother’s house and was amazed that it allowed me to pull my vehicle right next to it . . . . and it wasn’t spooked!! This Pileated Woodpecker has very little red on its forehead and was lacking the red on the malar region making it a female. Looking at the first photo up close . . . you will notice her brown coloring contrasting with its black wing feathers, which can sometimes be difficult to reliably age the bird (believing that the faded brown feathers were her Juvenal feathers). But, seeing the gray/tan eye coloring (Adults have bright red eyes) will confirm that this woodpecker is a second year bird (meaning she was born during the summer of 2007).
I was lost for words while watching her work continuously on this one specific hole. It would work on the right side for a while . . . then over to the left side making the hole bigger and bigger!! Vehicles would pass wondering what the heck I was doing . . . . while this crow sized woodpecker just continued working on its project! Then I remember that I had my video camera with me and captured this video for everyone (1:04 long).
You might wonder why this woodpecker would put this much effort into excavating a huge hole like this? The answer is that Pileated Woodpeckers specialize on Carpenter Ants, Wood-boring Beetle Larvae, Termites and Caterpillars. I captured these photos below of some grubs that I found while splitting some firewood today.
One of the logs had a huge colony of Carpenter Ants (around 100 in one spot) and would provide a great deal of food for them once they reach the colony. I think finding a large larva like this would be the best prize for any woodpeckers. But getting to these grub and ants would requires her to drill these extensive holes (and is exactly why they do it)! They find them by hearing the grub chewing inside the tree and is almost like finding hidden quarters in a sawdust pile. You know that the quarters are there and can be very rewarding once you find them.
|Subscribe to Mon@rch||All Rights Reserved ©2006-2008|
|Stumble this post!|