Pileated woodpeckers are the largest of the common woodpeckers found in most of North America. These crow-sized birds present a memorable sight with their zebra-striped heads and necks, long bills, and distinctive red crests.
Pileated woodpeckers forage for their favorite meal, carpenter ants, by digging large, rectangular holes in trees. These holes can be so large that they weaken smaller trees or even cause them to break in half. Other birds are often attracted to these large openings, eager to access any exposed insects.
Pileated woodpeckers do not discriminate between coniferous and deciduous trees—as long as they yield the ants and beetle larvae that make up much of the birds' diet. Woodpeckers sometimes access these morsels by peeling long strips of bark