Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) - local seasonal appearance
Based on 26 observations in Seymour township,
Northumberland county, southeast Ontario, 1999-2003.
The pileated woodpecker is a spectacular bird at close quarters, and
can often be identified at much greater distances when in flight or
in a noisy phase of its frequently-quiet woodland life.
Generally seen only singly or in pairs, it appears to be a year-round
resident of the area.
Bent (1939, p.172) noted that "It is a denizen of extensive forests.
It will adapt itself to second growth - particularly where the young trees
have sprung up about some remnant of the old; but in any case it
requires wide areas. As forests dwindle to woodlots, along with the
wild turkey, the barred owl, and the raven, it disappears".
Although it vanished from lands cleared for agricultural use, in rougher
terrain such as mountains, marginal ridges and forested swamps
"its numbers during the past 50 years have increased, and it has
reappeared in localities once deserted".
The bird is dramatic in flight, has a loud "yaffling" cry,
and its resonant drumming is rivalled only by the
yellow-bellied sapsucker (ibid., pp.175-176).
At Presqu'ile provincial park, roughly
40 km to the south, the large woodpecker is an uncommon,
year-round resident, although "birds are heard much more
often than they are seen" (LaForest, 1993, p.232).
In Peterborough county, to the northwest, the bird
is found year-round and has increased in numbers since the
(Sadler, 1983, p105).
BENT,AC (1939) Life Histories of North American Woodpeckers.
Dover Publications Inc., 1964 reprint of
Smithsonian Institution Bull. 174, 334pp. plus 39 plates [see
especially pages 171-191].
LaFOREST,SM (1993) Birds of Presqu'ile Provincial Park.
Friends of Presqu'ile Park / Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources,
SADLER,D (1983) Our Heritage of Birds: Peterborough County in
the Kawarthas. Peterborough Field Naturalists / Orchid Press,
Peterborough, ON, 192pp.
Graham Wilson, updated 16 April 2004
Township Bird List