Pileated woodpeckers excavate large nesting cavities often with more than one entrance hole from twenty to eighty feet in oak, sycamore, elm and pine trees. If you like this photo, see many more large woodpeckers at my blog cwoodpeckers.blogspot.com IDENTIFICATION: Large, black, white stripes on the head and neck, red crest, males have a red stripe on their cheeks COMMONLY CONFUSED WITH: Red-bellied woodpeckers CONSERVATION STATUS: Least Concern – Population Increasing DIET: Insects, fruit, nuts HABITAT: Deciduous, mixed forests NESTING: In cavities in dead trees BEHAVIOR: Forage by drilling in dead trees, monogamous Interesting Facts About the Pileated Woodpecker. Pileated Woodpecker, male (Dryocopus pileatus) in St. Mary's parish, Louisiana. Bubbles, tents and greenhouses: Restaurants get creative to keep outdoor diners warm . I have seen these woodpeckers sporadically for the last 20 years. I live in central Pennsylvania near Altoona. However, sporadic reports of sightings and other evidence of the birds' persistence have continued ever since. They bore out new cavities each year leaving old cavities to be claimed by owls and small mammals. At A Glance. You will sooner hear these widespread birds than see them! The pileated woodpecker I have seen and heard at the edge of the woods behind my house is magnificent. Male pileated woodpeckers have a red “moustache” running on either side of their beaks, while in females this stripe is just black. Inside, if she’s lucky, are thousands of delicious black carpenter ants. This Pileated Woodpecker is hammering its massive chisel of a bill against the trunk of a cedar tree, making large, rectangular incisions, some nearly a foot long. The last universally accepted sighting of an American ivory-billed woodpecker occurred in Louisiana in 1944. Their entrance holes are so large they may weaken smaller tree trunks. 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