Pileated Woodpecker Species Report

Pileated Woodpecker

Dryocopus pileatus

Pileated woodpeckers, characterized by the bright red crest of feathers atop their heads, can be found in old growth forests throughout much of North America. They build their nests in the trunks of trees by first carving out an entrance hole in the outer bark of the large, decaying trees, and using the wood chips to make the nest. Old growth areas also contain plenty of bugs, which are the bird’s main food supply. Pileated woodpeckers are considered an indicator species for determining whether an area can be classified as old growth or not. Although the species is no longer endangered, its status continues to be threatened by the destruction of these forests.


The latin name for the pileated woodpecker is Dryocopus pileatus. The word dryo comes from the latin word for tree, and the word kopis is latin for dagger; pileatus refers to ‘capped’, as both sexes can be distinguished by the brilliant red ‘cap’ of feathers on their heads…

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