What Is That Hammering?


The majestic pileated woodpecker is active and wary. The male of the nesting pair on our land is often seen as a red streak heading either to the feeder for the insect suet or returning to the sanctuary of the big cedar some 10 m. distance. The female has a less prominent red cap. The largest woodpecker common in N. America, they can grow up to nearly 42 cm. in length. Preferring dense mature forests, they excavate long rectangular or oval nest holes in trees. A preferred food item is carpenter ants and guests can often spot them on the feeders by the Inn and hear their slow, and resonant hammering during feeding. I have struggled to get a decent photo as it seems to have some sixth sense in detecting just the exact moment of the shutter release.  Over time this fellow has seemed to become more tolerant of our presence, at least when separated by a window.


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