Pileated woodpeckers are spectacular birds that are a delight for bird lovers and nature enthusiasts. They are the largest woodpeckers in North America. This claim to fame was once held by the ivory billed woodpecker, which sadly, is now believed to be extinct. Pileated woodpeckers are heavy birds with a serious presence at the backyard feeders. Attracted by suet cakes, they will often announce their arrival with a loud call that sounds like maniacal laughter. As they fly in to an area, the call warns other woodpeckers that their territory is occupied. It is also a warning to the smaller birds that they are coming in for a landing. This pileated woodpecker is the male in a nesting pair. They have their home in a stand of trees not far from this feeder. At least once each day, the woodpeckers arrive at this suet holder and feast on the cakes within. Pecking and eating for a minute or two is all that they need to fill their bellies. They fly off happily after a brief visit. The woodpeckers also enjoy a few sips of water at the backyard pond. They have a few spots at decaying trees where they peck at the holes for insects burrowed into the wood as well. Pileated woodpeckers do a great job of keeping insect populations at bay that would otherwise attack and harm trees. Their abandoned nesting cavities also make great habitats for owls and other woodland creatures. They are beneficial for forests and the animals that live there. They are also a delight to see with their commanding presence and eye catching colour.
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