Thursday, December 3, 2015

Pileated Woodpecker

Yesterday Erika and I watched a male Pileated Woodpecker feeding on the ground, shredding the base of a large, dead tree in our back woods.  We noted that the woodpecker seemed to be leaning agains the trunk with its left foot, with the right planted on the ground. The bird worked on the tree for about 20 minutes.

Bull and Jackson (2011) write that Pileated Woodpeckers do occasionally forage on the ground. These authors also note that the birds play “a crucial role in many forest ecosystems.” Their roosting and nesting holes are subsequently used by many other forest birds and mammals. Pileateds also promote woodland decomposition and nutrient recycling. Finally, this woodpecker helps control harmful forest beetle populations.

1 comment:

  1. Last year at Westwood Hills in St Louis Park I noticed two large oval holes made by pileateds. They were both quite close to the ground and I was confused a bit. Your photo makes clear what was going on there. Thanks!