Pileated Woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus
Previously called Picus pileatus
Picidae or Woodpecker Family


Large bird, about crow size. Black with bold white stripes across the face and down the neck, and a brilliant red crest. Males also have a red stripe on their cheek which females lack. The bill is long and thick. Commonly seen and heard pounding away at dead trees and logs in search of carpenter ants and other insects. To me they look dinosaurian.

A forest bird that occasionally visits backyards. Uncommon in Wildwood, but may be found any time of the year..

Other woodpeckers with red heads are smaller and have rounded, rather than crested heads. Only the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker resembles the Pileated, but that species is either extinct or extremely rare and only hung out in swamps to the south of us.


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