Pileated Woodpecker

On Saturday July 23rd, I returned to Silverwood Park hoping to find the Great Horned owls, only to find that they were not there. I decided to walk around the park looking for some other birds to photograph. I heard and saw this crow sized bird on a tree realizing that it was a pair Pileated Woodpecker. As I followed the birds down a path, I came upon their nest, which they had made in the side of a huge tree.

The Pileated woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in Minnesota. They like to feed mostly on carpenter ants as well as beetles, flies, caterpillars, cockroaches and larvae. You might think that by banging their head on trees might cause brain damage to the bird. But actually, their tongue is super long wrapping around the brain protecting them from brain damage.

These are birds that require large standing trees that are mostly dead. Dead trees are a valuable resource as nest sites and shelters not just for bird, but for animals too. The male does most of the work but the female will contribute when the nest is close to done. Nest construction will take 3-6 weeks and the nest will be 10-12 inches deep. A Pileated woodpecker pair will live year round protecting their territory and nest through the seasons but allowing some species to nest in their territory during the winter. They will have a clutch of 3-5 eggs which will take about a month for them to be fully fledged. Predators at the nest can be Squirrels, Weasels and Martens. For the adult, their predators can be Bald eagles, Barred owls, Cooper’s hawk, Great horned owls and Red-tailed hawks.

Thanks for reading this post.

Published by PalmerLakeNature

I am a nature-loving teen who photographs all the cool nature in Minnesota and around the world. My goal is to share my passion for the outdoors with others. I was an Outdoor Education Intern at Mississippi Gateway Regional Park in the summer of 2022 where I helped with the summer educational programs. I am also active with the Best Buy Teen Tech Center where I do coding, graphic design, photography, and 3D printing. A few of my photos have been published in a newsletter by the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. Minneapolis Parks and Rec has also published my nature photos on their Facebook page. Current Equipment: Canon 90D, Tamron 100-400mm Lens, 50mm Lens

One thought on “Pileated Woodpecker

  1. I always enjoy your posts! You’re never too old to learn new things about our environment- Thank you Alex! We’ll done👍


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