Pileated Woodpeckers excavating

Our warm spring weather has deteriorated into windy, cold, rain-and-snow-mixed squalls. Such weather brings on cabin fever rather quickly. So in an effort to avoid total psychosis, I bundled up and headed for Tualatin Hills Nature Park in Beaverton. Aside from the cheery singing from both Bewick’s and Winter Wrens, the highlight of the trip was a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers excavating a nest cavity.

I first saw the male, pecking away inside the cavity and occasionally hauling out a clump of chips in his bill

The female soon joined the male, and did a little excavating after he flew off.

Here is the cavity. Notice how the lower edge is beveled, just like the cavities of Black-backed and American Three-toed Woodpeckers. The oval shape, and the lack of other excavation nearby, suggests this is a nesting cavity. Cavities produced by feeding Pileateds are usually rectangular.

2 thoughts on “Pileated Woodpeckers excavating

  1. How cool! We have been looking to add the Pileated to our life list for a long time. We have searched all of the known places but we have come up empty handed. We will try the spot that you found.

    Take care,
    Seth and Michelle
    NE Portland – Gateway Area

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