Bird Sounds and Calls of the Pileated Woodpecker | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Bird Sounds: Pileated Woodpecker

Primary Image
A pileated woodpecker on a branch
Photo Credit

Listen to the Pileated Woodpecker Call!

Print Friendly and PDF
No content available.

Can you identify the call of the pileated woodpecker? Listen and learn about this woodland bird.

The pileated woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in North America (after the ivory-billed woodpecker, which is presumed to be extinct). These birds can reach up to 19 inches from tail to tip and sport a wingspan of up to 30 inches! 

The pileated woodpecker gets its name from the bright-red crest on its head. “Pileated,” which comes from the Latin word for “-capped,” ultimately stems from a type of Ancient Greek hat known as a pilos (pileus in Latin).

In late winter, the male pileated woodpecker prepares for the upcoming nesting season, which typically starts in April. Using his incredible bill, he hammers out a nesting area in a dead tree and hopes to attract a mate. Once paired, pileated woodpeckers usually hang around their territory throughout the year, defending it from interlopers. Amazingly, they do not reuse their nests from year to year, which makes the hollow an attractive home for other forest dwellers such as raccoons and owls.

Have you heard a pileated woodpecker in the wild? Add your comments below. Be sure to let us know where you live or where you’ve heard this bird sound before!

Click here to listen to the sounds of other birds! Bird sounds compliments of The Macaulay Library at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 

About The Author

Heidi Stonehill

Heidi Stonehill is a senior editor for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, where she focuses much of her time on managing content development for the Almanac’s line of calendars. Read More from Heidi Stonehill

No content available.