Saturday, February 24, 2007

Pileated Woodpecker

As I joined my husband on the front porch this sunny morning (before the freezing rain hits), he motioned me to be quiet and pointed to a pileated woodpecker in the north woods. As we watched and listened to the thrumming, the woodpecker would stop, cock his head, and then throw it back, like he was tossing an insect into his gullet. I didn't have my camera, but later I took this photo of the extremely large hole he created in a black cherry tree.

In the last Audubon count, there were two sighted in in our area. We see them several times a year. This is good news because over a hundred years ago, they were considered extinct or rare in Indiana. This information about pileated woodpeckers was published in 1890s in Birds of Indiana.
Formerly tolerably common resident; now extinct in many localities and rare in all others. Breeds. None have been seen in Franklin County for twenty years or more, and probably none are now to be found in the Whitewater Valley. It has been reported as present, but rare, in the following counties within the past few years: Monroe (Evermann, Blatchley), Vigo (Jenkins), Dekalb (McBride), Porter (Trouslot), Decatur (Shannon), Starke (Coale, Dury), Allen (Stockbridge), Gibson and Knox (Ridgway). Many are the interesting accounts given of these birds by the older citizens, who knew them as "Logcock," "Black Woodcock" and "Woodcock."


steven wilson said...

Nice to run across a fellow hoosier blooger here.The pileated woodpecker is everywhere in brown county indiana.You see them all over it.Amazing bird indeed.

Steven Wilson

Anonymous said...

Hello All,

I was thrilled this spring to discover that there are three pileated woodpeckers living on my property in east central Indiana. Two are adults and the third appears to be a juvenile. I have some great photos. They're magnificant!

Anonymous said...


First ever sighting here in Indianapolis Northside...Very impressive to say the least.

Anonymous said...

There was a large pileated woodpecker in our back yard the other day. That was the first time we had seen one here in Evansville.

Earth Girl said...

It's always exciting to spot one of these birds.

Anonymous said...

A friend told me today he has heard from a couple Amish neighbors they have seen a pileated woodpecker in our area. The sightings have been in Elkhart County near the small town of Millersburg, IN. I love my birds and would be excited to see one myself. Guess I just need to keep my eyes and ears open. I checked on the internet and have found what they sound like. Awesome birds!

Anonymous said...

You need to come to Brown County. I live just about a mile west of Nashville and I have two pileated woodpeckers that visit my birdfeeder in my front yard not more than 12 feet from my front door. They like suet with fruit and nuts.