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Pileated Woodpecker roosting holes

Photographer Gregg Thompson had a stroke of good fortune. He writes:

In late September, I noticed a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers on this tree trunk. It was too late in the year for them to have any chicks, and after I read a bit, I decided this was a roosting tree. It could have been a nesting site at one time, I guess.

It seems to have been constructed in the rotted center core of an otherwise healthy looking tree. I would guess the lower hole is connected to the upper one. The female was using the upper hole.

Looking at the forest around them, I can see that they have quite a few opportunities for roosting cavities. But for my purpose – photography – most of them were pretty high up in the tree. This site has the benefit of being right at my height on a steep hillside. It is really dark with all of the foliage still being on the trees.

Anyway, I went quite a few times, hoping to catch them in their roosting holes. So far, I've seen only one at a time in a hole, so I'm not sure if they both use the same hole, different holes, or even different holes on separate trees. I think they have multiple roosting trees, as they don't seem to use the same holes every night.

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The Red-headed Woodpecker excavates cavities, too. Learn more about this bird and about how leaving a snag benefits birds and other wildlife:
Saving Snags for Red-headed Woodpeckers

Sights & Sounds

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