Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pileated Woodpecker

Banding a Pileated Woodpecker, like this female caught last week, is often a noisy, bloody affair as the bird drills holes in the bander’s hands (see gif on a previous post). This woodpecker is a “keystone species” in forest ecosystems (Bull and Jackson 2011). The holes excavated in trees by this species are used by many birds and mammals for shelter and nesting (Boreal Owl, Wood Duck, martens). Furthermore, Pileated Woodpecker workings decompose and recycle forest logs. Because their deit consists of carpenter and other wood-eating ants and beetles, forest trees are protected from attack by these arthropods.

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