Bluebird and Small Cavity Nester Conservation
Sialis - Bluebirds and other small cavity nesters


eggs Snags and Suet: Pileated Woodpeckers

Pileated Woodpecker eating suet.  Photo by Rob and Deb Torcellini

These photos were taken in February 2007 by Deb and Rob Torcellini of Eastford, CT. The hole in the bottom photograph was excavated in February 2004. The Pileated pair raised two babies that fledged in early June 2004. They have been seen and heard in the area sporadically since then. The male Pileated came to their suet feeder for the first time on snowy February 26, 2007. Notice the tongue! He is eating store-bought suet.

Some interesting facts:

  • The cartoon character Woody Woodpecker was based on the Pileated Woodpecker.
  • They require large diameter trees for nesting and roosting.
  • Old nest sites mayb e used for roosting, but are rarely reused for nesting.
  • Their roost usually has multiple entrance holes.
  • They are the second largest woodpecker (the Ivory-billed is the largest) in North America.
  • The male selects the nest site. Both sexes excavate with the male doing most of the work.
Pileated Woodpecker pair checking out previously used nesting hole.  Photo by Rob and Deb Torcellini

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    You cannot begin to preserve any species of animal unless you preserve the habitat in which it dwells. Disturb or destroy that habitat and you will exterminate the species as surely as if you had shot it. So conservation means that you have to preserve forest and grassland, river and lake, even the sea itself. This is vital not only for the preservation of animal life generally, but for the future existence of man himself—a point that seems to escape many people.
    -Gerald Durrell, The Nature Conservancy

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