Bird Sounds: Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker Calls

April 29, 2016
Bird Sounds and Calls-Pileated Woodpecker-Thinkstock

A Pileated Woodpecker feeds her young.

Photo by Thinkstock

Here you can identify the sounds and bird calls of the Pileated Woodpecker. Compliments of The Macaulay Library at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Click here to listen to the sounds of other birds!

Have you heard a Pileated Woodpecker? Add your comments below. Be sure to let us know where you live or where you’ve heard this bird sound before!

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Pileated Woodpeckers

We have two pileated woodpeckers that we can hear calling and pecking the trees in our yard in Kingston,NH. They come to our window feeder because they absolutely LOVE peanuts. They also enjoy the suet we put out in the yard. We love watching them. They are truly a magnificent bird!


We have several young adults...

Wood peckers

we have a pileated woodpeckers at our home which we are feeding and we are looking for all the information we can get to make this a safe habitat for them

red bellied woodpecker

Carlisle, Pennsylvania.... I was curious why the woodpecker can be pecking on the tree right in front of me but I dont hear the pecking. But if the woodpecker is at a different tree away from me I hear it? Every day we see the woodpecker pecking at the trees and hear them in the background. We have one living in a maple tree in the back yard and we feed them peanut butter suet cakes all the time they love it!

Pileated woodpecker

Last night I heard a bird that I thought was a jungle bird. I knew I had heard that sound before, but couldn't remember where, maybe the Jumanji movie? I searched half the day to match the sound and the closest I could find was an Australian kookaburra. Couldn't have been that so I kept searching. It had to have been a Pileated woodpecker. I've never seen one, but a friend a couple towns away took a picture of one on her tree a couple months ago in Oxford Connecticut. It was dark out and early evening when it made that loud wonderful sound. I am going to play this recording of it and hope it responds. Now I'll have to go get a suet feeder and cross my fingers for a viewing of it.

Pileated woodpeckers in Southwest Ohio

We have daily sightings and listenings to pileated woodpeckers here in Clermont county in SW Ohio.
I have observed them on sycamore trees and oak trees mostly.

Pleated woodpecker

Amazing to watch and hear. Two look as if they were excavating a nest one was watching as the male was drilling in my backyard tree. Orlando, Fl.

Pileated woodpecker

yes we have several in our backyard they love eating the grapes that grow all over our trees I love to hear that beautiful call

Pileated woodpecker

We have several I hear and see every morning and I live near Holly Springs, MS

Pileated Woodpecker

I have two that come to my feeders every day. They have pecked at my windows and once at my door. I enjoy watching them, they are so facinating!!!
Poland, IN

Pileated Red Headed Woodpecker

I live in Charlotte, NY, which is part of the city of Rochester, and has the lake to the North and river to the east. My street ends on the West Bank gorge of the Genesee. I saw a pair of them this am in my backyard! I heard them first!!!

Pileated woodpeckers

Just saw two pileated woodpeckers on the live oak trees right outside my window. They made the exact sound of your recording.

Pileated Woodpecker

We just moved down by the lake in Golden Missouri and are still learning the sounds of all the wildlife, we were in the garage when we heard the ruckus, we walked out to see these two beautiful woodpeckers going round and round on the tree, one kept its wings flared out while the other kept its wings tucked in. They circled this tree on there feet up and down the trunk as if playing catch me if you can for about 15 minutes before they flew away.

Pileate woodpecker

We have had this woodpecker visit us a couple of times. The first time was two years ago. It took quite a chunk out of our maple tree. This year it appeared again. You could hear it before you could see it. I put up a brightly colored flag next to the tree to try to scare it away as it makes quite a mess. We reside in New Brunswick ,Canada.

I heard him but couldn't see him

I kept playing this recording and he flew over me twice!

Pileated woodpecker

We have one ( or more) that live around our house. Frankly, he was a pest in that he attacked and pecked at our windows on the house. We tried several strategies- but the one that seemed to work the best was taping an owl picture to the window. This seems to have stopped his "attacks" ( probably because he doesn't see his own reflection as well any more)

Pileated woodpeckers

We have a local colony of pileated woodpeckers. When walking our dog thru a small lakeside park, we saw a family of pileated woodpeckers on the ground. Male and female were both showing the fledglings how (and what?) to eat and feeding them. I hear them often, but seeing them is rare and then to see a family of them was a once in a lifetime event.

May 28, 2017, Roachdale, IN

Had one in our back yard yesterday early afternoon, eating berries and looking for insects.

Pileated woodpecker

The pileated woodpecker I have seen and heard at the edge of the woods behind my house is magnificent. There are at least 2, because I have heard two distinct pecking sounds from different areas at the same time. I live in central Pennsylvania near Altoona. I have seen these woodpeckers sporadically for the last 20 years.

We have these in our woods

We live in Southern Alabama about 10 miles outside of Evergreen in the community of Flat Rock. Our home is in the edge of the woods, and I love to watch them land in our trees in the front of the house and make their distinctive call. We call them Indian Hens.

Pileated Woodpecker

There is a make in the woods behind our home. He occasionally comes to feast from the woodpecker suet on our deck. He does not seem to be afraid as the feeder is only 5 feet from the back door. Boy is he magnificient!

Piliated Woodpecker

We have seen several in the trees at our home in the mtns of western North Carolina.They are not particularly shy. We have been hearing their calls a lot lately.

Pileated Woodpecker

I have three Pileated Woodpecker, that I have seen at the same time. There many be more. I watched three yesterday move up and down a tree, then fly to another tree, doing this back and forth till they flew away. They are here all year. I'm not able to get to close. A few years ago I was witness to two babies. I now know their call, so I stop what I'm doing to watch them. Sometimes they see me and move to hide around athe tree. Anna Bozeman Fort White Florida

call of the wild

There's a resident pair here in southeast Ohio, I read they have a 10 acre territory. One will fly high overhead calling the whole time, then the second one will fly overhead. They are elusive, love dead trees and carpenter ants. When I hear them I feel like I'm in a deep jungle. They also make me sad for the extinct ivory-billed woodpecker and the passenger pigeon.

I live 4 miles North of

I live 4 miles North of Rockdale, TX and have wooded land. A pair of Pileated woodpeckers live on my land. I have been able to take pictures of them after first seeing the male about 4 or 5 years ago. It took awhile to figure out what it was as I had never seen such a large and unusual strange bird.

Using my bird book, I learned that only the male has the red mustache.

Today I decided to check on the computer and confirm that the loud, almost harsh bird sound I hear often is indeed the pileated's call. I spotted one this morning when I took my usual morning walk but it was too far away to see if it was male or female. I do not expect a return email. This is just to let you know that I am blessed to have such birds on my land.

I have also photographed a yellow-billed cuckoo in my birdbath. He was also a mystery until I got help identifying it from a Texas birder.

I hear the call frequently in

I hear the call frequently in the woods behind my home east of Pittsburgh, PA. I only see the bird once or twice a year & have never seen 2 together, so I don't know whether there is only one, or more than one.Today I got a video of one pecking on a dead tree behind my neighbors house. Video is poor very quality, since I used my cell phone & the bird was about 50 yds away.I just got the video for my own amusement. :-)

Unfamiliar call. I've seen

Unfamiliar call. I've seen several of these over the years and heard their calls but today heard an unfamiliar sound. It was low pitched, sort of the same timbre as a mourning dove, and resembled a dog crying which got my attention. After searching with the binoculars I found it in a tree across the road. It bowed its head down when it made the call. Cannot find it referenced on the internet.

We have one in our back field

We have one in our back field in some pines in Milton
FL. Beautiful bird- eerie sound.

My daughter was here last

My daughter was here last summer and we heard a weird bird sound in the woods beside my house.She told me it was a Pileated Woodpecker. She lives in Oxford WI.
I had never seen one....and yesterday I glanced up out my living room window,AND THERE HE WAS!! I got excited and grabbed my camera but I must have spooked him,he was gone before I could get to the window...
I sure hope he returns!
I live in Bono Ar.

We have several in Langley,

We have several in Langley, BC Canada I see and hear them all the time. Knocking as they feed and calling out.
Even saw a pair on the ground in my yard one day.