Saturday, November 6, 2010
Pileated Woodpeckers depend on large trees for breeding. This dependancy becomes critical if large trees are cut out of forest stands. Pileateds breeding in our backyard had their tree fall in the 2009 winter during a windstorm. The birds must still be in the vicinity, since this Pileated in the second bird-of-the-year I have banded in 2010. Large trees also attract lightening (especially when surrounding trees are smaller), sometimes to the woodpeckers' detriment. Large trees come at such a premium, that pairs defend their territory all year. Individuals do not abandon territories if their mates die. Pileateds are also often hit by cars, since the woodpeckers often feed on or near the ground. Despite these dangers, Pileated Woodpecker populations appear to be increasing since the mid-1960s (Bull and Jackson 1995).
Posted by Dan Tallman at 9:15 AM