Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pileated woodpecker sighting

This afternoon I went back to check out the pileated woodpecker excavation I found on March 28. I don't think the birds have done much since, but I'll keep watching. I also checked a tree used for nesting a decade ago for new sign, because pileateds often reuse old nest trees. Sure enough, there were a few handfulls of fresh chips on the ground. Another one to watch.

Yesterday Diane Renaud saw a pileated woodpecker chiselling holes in the roots of a dead black spruce beside the boardwalk on the upstream loop. The bird was after carpenter ants, which is both the favourite food and diet mainstay of our largest woodpecker. Fresh excavation sign is all over the boardwalk area, which is another sign that the local pair of pileated woodpeckers will nest somewhere in the vicinity this year. During the nesting period pairs pick a nest site and then don't go too far away until the young leave the nest. Lots of sign in an area during the nesting period is a sure indication a nest isn't too far away.

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