Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocuopus pileatus)

Life History & Michigan History

Pileated woodpeckers are crow-size woodpeckers with a large crest of red crown feathers. Its wingspan is almost 30 inches. The long, black bill presents a distinctive silhouette. Males have a red patch of feathers from the back of the bill across the cheek to a point under the eye. Females have a black narrow band of feathers in the same area.

The pileated woodpeckers live in large mature tracts of forests in Michigan. These forests often contain a number of dead and dying trees that the pileated uses both for feeding and as nesting cavities.

Maintaining pileated woodpecker populations will require the maintenance and management of old growth forests in Michigan. Education on the bird's role and how to avoid building damage will also help to protect the unique piece of Michigan's heritage.

Non-DNR Links