Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)

Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Dryocopus
Species: pileatus


This bird has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Fairhope, Alabama
Hartselle, Alabama
Fairfield Bay, Arkansas
Lowell, Arkansas
, British Columbia
Crescent City, California
Kelseyville, California
North Stonington, Connecticut
Arcadia, Florida
Archer, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Crawfordville, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Pierce, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Lecanto, Florida
Lehigh Acres, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Milton, Florida
Naples, Florida
Navarre, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Wellborn, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Austell, Georgia
Bainbridge, Georgia
Byron, Georgia
Dacula, Georgia
Gillsville, Georgia
Naylor, Georgia
Tifton, Georgia
Baylis, Illinois
Effingham, Illinois
Naperville, Illinois
Coatesville, Indiana
Georgetown, Indiana
North Manchester, Indiana
Solon, Iowa
Alvaton, Kentucky
Crestwood, Kentucky
La Grange, Kentucky
Latonia, Kentucky
Melbourne, Kentucky
Morehead, Kentucky
Salvisa, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Covington, Louisiana
Augusta, Maine
Greenville, Maine
Litchfield, Maine
Shapleigh, Maine
West Newfield, Maine
Wiscasset, Maine
Linthicum Heights, Maryland
North Adams, Massachusetts
Bark River, Michigan
Glennie, Michigan
Gulliver, Michigan
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Mattawan, Michigan
Traverse City, Michigan
Anoka, Minnesota
Chaska, Minnesota
Grand Rapids, Minnesota
Hamel, Minnesota
Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota
Natchez, Mississippi
Cole Camp, Missouri
Conway, Missouri
Gerald, Missouri
High Ridge, Missouri
Joplin, Missouri
Saint Robert, Missouri
Whitefish, Montana
Brookline, New Hampshire
Franklin, New Hampshire
Lisbon, New Hampshire
Milford, New Hampshire
Sunapee, New Hampshire
Warner, New Hampshire
Buffalo, New York
Fairport, New York
Franklinville, New York
Greene, New York
Himrod, New York
Olean, New York
Syracuse, New York
Burnsville, North Carolina
Concord, North Carolina
Waynesville, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Yadkinville, North Carolina
Chillicothe, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Corning, Ohio
Dalton, Ohio
Guysville, Ohio
Mansfield, Ohio
Sidney, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Gold Hill, Oregon
Blakeslee, Pennsylvania
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Kittanning, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pocono Lake, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Columbia, Tennessee
Elizabethton, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Bellville, Texas
Cat Spring, Texas
Conroe, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Magnolia, Texas
Palestine, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Essex Junction, Vermont
Newbury, Vermont
Vershire, Vermont
Annandale, Virginia
Locust Dale, Virginia
Ridgeway, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Walkerton, Virginia
Auburn, Washington
Joyce, Washington
Lakewood, Washington
Spencer, West Virginia
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Apr 5, 2021, Wingtips56 from Crescent City North, CA wrote:

These woodpeckers are seasonal regulars here in the Redwood forests in NW California. Plenty of (big!) old trees to keep them busy. I woke the other day to the call of one, thinking it was my Audubon bird clock out on the deck, but then realized the Pileated Woodpecker is the 3 O'clock bird on the clock; it was a real one on my seed feeder. I hear them throughout the day now in my 2 acre forested yard.
It's great to hear them laughing, and we love seeing the flash of red as they swoop through the trees.

So to add to the sighting lists: Crescent City, CA and Hiouchi, CA.


On Apr 5, 2021, treesmoocher from Spencer, WV wrote:

We always have these around (West Virginia) and I like them...but they have been working to "rid" our house and outbuildings of carpenter bees, in the process damaging the structure even more. But now my husband has discovered a way to make carpenter bee traps that work, involving a clear plastic bottle attached to an old bee hole. So the woodpeckers can go back to focusing on dead trees in the woods.


On Apr 5, 2021, klw414 from Newnan, GA wrote:

We have seen the pileated woodpeckers on our property in Newnan, GA, for many years. They lived in a dead tree behind our house until it fell. We left it where it fell since it was not in the way. Eventually they moved to another tree. On a few occasions they have come to our feeder on our deck.


On Aug 21, 2019, AmyInNH from Brookline, NH wrote:

Big beasty!
Heard this bird in Brookline NH, "Wuk! Wuk! Wuk!", but it wasn't close enough to ensure identity.
Did see this bird in Billerica, MA, what a big beauty!


On Dec 31, 2010, audsrz from Traverse City, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

This bird is common in my yard. We have three seperate nesting pairs. We call them "woodpecker-saurus" bacause of their maniacal call. I love to watch them chase the starlings and jays off of the suet cakes. This fall we had the added joy of watching a proud poppa show two hatchlings how to climb down the telephone pole to harvest the wild grapes. I never picked a single one for juice this year, and I don't regret the loss one bit.


On Nov 9, 2010, mhtcobb from Naylor, GA wrote:

This is the largest woodpecker I have ever seen in the area. Its call is really unique. There are 4 living in a dead tree behind my house. The best thing about them is that they have completely rid my shed of carpenter bees. I never even see the bees around the shed anymore!


On May 25, 2010, juniperberry from Bellville, TX wrote:

I was surprised to see this large bird standing on the ground next to the railroad track that runs through Cat Spring, TX about four years ago.

Then about two weeks ago we saw one near the top of a telephone pole on the outskirts of Bellville, TX one evening. Amazing! We stopped the car to look at it and it flew away into a nearby woods.


On Apr 24, 2010, marthabatten from Shapleigh, ME wrote:

We have seen this woodpecker twice, once while kayaking on the deserted end of our lake and once from our window high overlooking the lake. Magnificent.


On Mar 20, 2010, Hoagie from North Tonawanda, NY wrote:

I had never seen this bird before in 50 years, but have seen it now in 4 different areas in the past 5 years, 3 times in western NY and once in Maine. It is so beautiful! I hope it is becoming more common, would love to see it all the time.


On Oct 13, 2009, PiBall from Milford, NH wrote:

They are common in my area of NH. They are great vacuum cleaners for tree cavities, and, as most birds do, eat constantly. I once watched a Pileated spend most of the day at the base of seemingly healthy pine in my driveway. Later that day, due to our curiosity about the bird's long stay, we discovered the tree's base was thin to a dangerous state by carpenter ants. We IMMEDIATELY removed the cars and took the tree down. So little remained of the trunk it would have surely come down in the next wind or rain, likely onto the cars. Fortunately the tree was far from the house, because you can just imagine where those thousands of ants had to scurry off to; thankfully for us, the woods. NEVER leave a tree stump or snag close to your house just to feed the birds!


On Sep 3, 2009, mrbluejeans from north adams, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:

The pileated woodpecker does not respond to bird houses very well. To help lure a nesting pair to an appropriate size built wooden structure, several inches of wooden shavens/chips could be placed in the bottom of the nesting box. They still prefer to use a hole in a tree though.


On May 25, 2009, sassafrasgreen from Georgetown, IN wrote:

These birds eat the beetles that devour dead trees.

To encourage Pileated Woodpeckers to live near you, leave dead tree trunks standing if they pose no danger of causing damage by falling, or allow the trunk to remain on the ground for several years if it must be cut down.


On Apr 21, 2009, nanny_56 from Putnam County, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

This bird is unbelievable the first time you see it. I never knew anything like this existed before I saw it land on my tree back in the winter of 2007 at our then new home.

It is more often heard than seen. There is no mistaking its wild call.


On Jan 17, 2009, DebinSC from Georgetown, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

On the male, the red coloring of the crest begins at the beak; the female has a more of a black forehead. The male also has a small red "mustache" that the female does not.