The Pielated Woodpecker is on the of the most striking “forest” birds in the general area. Its size is comparable to the black crow but with bold white stripes and flaming red crest. You can hear the Woodpecker whacking at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their main prey, carpenter ants, leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood. These holes can make crucial shelter to many species including bats to pine martens and ducks to owls. A Pileated Woodpeckers “excavations” can be so broad and deep that they can cause small trees to break in half. Larger tree are needed for nesting which can become a lightening hazard for rearing their young. Once established, the Pileated pair will remain on its territory all year round and defend it. They will tolerate new arrivals during the winter season for mating. Did you know that the NFL had studied the Woodpecker’s physiology in an effort to develop safer, shock absorbing helmets for football players? Their unique physiological structure allows them to withstand severe deceleration. A wood pecker’s head experiences decelations of 1200g on a tree up to 22 times per second. Humans are often left with concussions it they experience 80 to100g. The longest living known Pileated Woodpecker to be approximately thirteen years!

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