The pileated woodpecker eats insects, fruits and nuts. A large part of its diet is made up of carpenter ants and beetle larvae. It uses its sharp bill to pull bark off trees and expose ant colonies. It uses its long tongue to poke into holes and drag out ants.
Pileated woodpeckers make their nest in a tree cavity. Both parents incubate the eggs during the day and the male incubates the eggs at night. The parents are fiercely protective of the nest and have been observed carrying their eggs to a new location if the first nest is destroyed.
The chicks hatch after a little more than two weeks and fledge when they are about a month old. They may continue to be fed by the parents until they are three months old.
Pileated woodpeckers “drum” on trees with their bill to claim territory. Males and females form long-term bonds and claim their territory by “drumming” on trees with their bills. They may also make displays of bill-waiving, crest raising, and spreading their wings to show their white lining or even peck at intruders.
For more information call Native Animal Rescue at (831) 462-0726.