Bird of the (Holiday) Week: A Woodpecker Worthy of a Hallmark Card

by Anders Gyllenhaal

To celebrate the holidays, we offer this memorable moment with a Pileated Woodpecker who looks like she’s posing for a Christmas card.

With her twisted red crest and feathering that could double as a tuxedo, she’s a picture of the holiday season.

The Pileated is the loudest and largest of the woodpeckers, alternately gawky and graceful. With a two-foot wingspan and height of up to 20 inches, it’s not hard to spot as it forages for everything from insects to nuts and berries. We came across this one near Savannah, Ga., working on a string of red berries. 

You will find the Pileated Woodpecker in much of the U.S., all over the East, throughout southern Canada and in parts of the Northwest. There’s a rumor a few have reached the North Pole.

Click here for Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s summary, complete with maps, records and photos. 

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Mary July 31, 2022 - 7:33 pm

‘He’ is a she 😉

Anders Gyllenhaal August 2, 2022 - 6:31 pm

Oh my. You’re right. All fixed — and many thanks.

Patricia Markert December 23, 2018 - 1:19 pm

This photograph is amazing. Thanks for creating such a rigorous, stimulating and beautiful website about one of my favorite subjects, birds.


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