They also “mine” dead trees for larvae, or grubs, of wood-boring beetles. On average, the population expands at about 1.5% a year and its range is slowly expanding into parts of Canada and the United … The pileated woodpecker saw a gradual decline before the 1900s, and many woodpecker species even went extinct as the human population expanded across North America. We have even had the pileateds land on our deck’s railing in order to visit our feeder! Pileated woodpeckers excavate large cavities in dead trees in which to nest – so large that the tree sometimes ends up collapsing at the nest site. All the varieties have been enjoying the suet based food we leave out for them. This bird is often heard before it is seen, however, as it’s ‘drumming’ can be quite loud. Photo by Dennis M Forsythe In Virginia, historic records from the early twentieth century document red-cockaded woodpeckers as having ranged as far west as Giles County, as far north as Albemarle County, and throughout the southeastern corner of the state, but by 2002, only 2 breeding pairs remained in the Commonwealth, both at what is now Piney Grove Preserve (PGP) in Sussex County. Buddy Matthews sent a photo of a pileated woodpecker with a flaming red crest working its way up a pine tree at the North End in Virginia Beach. A big, dashing bird with a flaming crest, the largest woodpecker in North America (except the Ivory-bill, which is almost certainly extinct). This large bird will eat wild berries - especially wild Wild Grape and Virginia Creeper - in fall/winter. Pileated Woodpeckers are a unique and majestic sight to behold: their bold, red head plumage and trademark, black-and-white patterning make them very easy to identify in densely wooded areas throughout the eastern United States and in most of Canada. We have pileated woodpeckers (along with downy, hairy, and red-bellied woodpeckers) at our cabin in the West Virginia Panhandle. However, since the early 1900s, it seems that the pileated woodpecker is making a comeback. Excavating deep into rotten wood to get at the nests of carpenter ants, the Pileated leaves characteristic rectangular holes in dead trees. Dead trees are a necessity for the Pileated Woodpecker, because that’s where they search for their favorites foods – ants and beetle larvae. But these birds have a special appetite for carpenter ants, which is what sometimes lands them in backyards and other landscape settings. Leaving dead or downed trees on your property (if safe) may increase your chances of attracting a Pileated Woodpecker. Pileated Woodpecker - 23 November 2020 - Swanson Ave, James Is, Charleston Co., SC.