They perch on the sides of dead or dying trees, and if you’re lucky, you might occasionally find one battering away at a section of wood, as woodpeckers are known to do. This is a bird that looks unlike any other: of course, we’re talking about the Pileated Woodpecker.
Also known as Dryocopus pileatus, the Pileated Woodpecker would have been a much more common sight just a few hundred years ago, when this bird enjoyed abundant access to heavily forested areas throughout the eastern United States. However, in the 18th and 19th century, large swaths of wood clearing contributed to the sharp reduction of Pileated Woodpecker populations. Recently, though, their numbers have seen a healthy rise, making them an increasingly popular bird to look for when outside.
Today, if you’re fortunate enough to spot one, you’ll be able to identify it by it’s pinpointed head plumage and bold streaks of red, black, and white—the immediately identifying traits of this iconic bird. Once you’ve located one, you might find yourself thinking, “What do these birds eat?”.