Through the Lens with Leon Lorenz

Pileated Woodpecker

Leon Lorenz

Pileated Woodpecker
Leon Lorenz photo


Pileated woodpeckers are North America's largest and most striking forest birds on the continent. The ivory billed woodpecker, which is believed to be now extinct, was slightly larger. The pileated woodpecker’s favorite food is carpenter ants, which live in deep tunnels within dead and decaying trees. They usually nest in standing large dead trees; however, I observed this cavity home being hammered and chiseled out by a nesting pair from this large healthy poplar tree. The male does most of the cavity preparation, which can range from 10 - 24 inches in depth. These cavities will later often make shelter for many other creatures like small owls, bats or even the American marten.

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